Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme

3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and split lengthwise
1 tablespoon softened butter
Coarse salt and ground pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
4 sprigs thyme

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2) Boil 3 fennel bulbs until tender, about 15 minutes.
3) Drain fennel, cut side down, on paper towels, 5 minutes.
4) Place fennel, cut side up, in a buttered 8-inch square baking dish and brush with the softened butter.
5) Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and top with Parmesan and thyme sprigs
6) Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Serves: 6


Shaved Fennel Salad with Toasted Almonds, Lemon, and Mint

2 large fennel bulbs (about 4 lbs total)
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarsely ground black pepper

1. Trim the stalks from the fennel bulbs and remove the tough outer layer. Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise and core. Using a mandolin, shave the fennel crosswise; you’ll have about 6 cups. (If you don’t have a mandolin, quarter each bulb and use a vegetable peeler to shave them lengthwise.)
2. In a medium bowl, toss the fennel with the lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of slat and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Add half the almonds and mint and all of the olive oil and toss to combine.
4. Transfer the salad to a platter or divide it among serving plates. Scatter the remaining almonds and mint over the top, finish with a few grinds of pepper, and serve.


Holiday Kale Salad

2 cups fresh cranberries
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, unpeeled
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
4 cups chopped kale
2 cups cooked wild rice, cooled
1 small bulb fennel, cored and shaved or cut into very thin wedges
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup thinly sliced red sweet pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil or parchment. Place the cranberries and garlic cloves on pan. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each salt and ground black pepper. Roast uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until garlic is soft and cranberries are browned at the edges and wrinkled. Allow to cool until garlic can be handled and then finely chop the garlic cloves.
2. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine garlic, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and lemon peel. Cover and shake well. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
3. In a large bowl combine cranberries, kale, wild rice, fennel, walnuts, sweet pepper, and onion. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.