Serves 3 as a main or 6 as a side
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Large Fennel Bulb with Fronds
- 100g Short Grain Brown Rice
- 200g Chestnut Mushrooms, finely sliced
- ½ White Onion, diced
- 200g White Beans (Cannellini) drained and rinsed
- 75g Gruyere, grated (or use some cheddar if you have to)
- 1 Lemon; ½ zested and juiced, the other ½ for service
- 40ml Vegetable Stock or white wine
- Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
- A small handful of breadcrumbs (Gluten Free if Needed)
- 1 ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 425F (218C) and place oven rack in the centre of the oven. Grease a small gratin or
casserole dish. Set aside. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using your hands or a brush, spread one
tbs of olive oil all over the parchment paper. Set aside.
Cut the fennel fronds off the bulb and chop the herbaceous parts to yield about ½ tbsp. Set aside. Trim
the top of the fennel and just a little off the base. You’ll want to keep the fennel intact at the base as much
as possible so that the wedges won’t fall apart. Cut fennel in half from top to bottom, then slice in 1/4”
(25mm) wedges placing the wedges close together but not touching on the sheet pan.
Brush tops thoroughly with remaining olive oil (you may have some olive oil left over and this will vary
depending on the size of the fennel). Roast in oven for 30 minutes, stopping to check on them at 25
minutes. They should caramelize. Some will caramelize more so than others. This is okay.
While the fennel is roasting, cook the brown rice according to package directions. Add the cooked brown
rice to a medium mixing bowl (it’s okay if it cools off). In a large sauté pan add 1 tsp of olive oil and heat
until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, spreading them out in a single layer as best you can and stir only
occasionally, about every two minutes for 9-10 minutes. We want them to sear.
Add the onion in with the mushrooms and sauté for about 3 minutes or until the onions are just soft. Add
the mushroom/onion mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix in the beans, Gruyere, zest of ¼ a lemon, 1 tsp of
the minced fennel fronds, juice of ½ lemon, stock or wine, ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp ground pepper. Adjust
seasoning as needed. Spoon into small prepared gratin or casserole dish.
To make the crust, in a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, dijon, parmesan, pinch of salt and zest of ¼ a
lemon. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 400F (204C). Arrange fennel wedges over the top of the
rice mixture, flipping each wedge over so that the darkest caramelized side is up, shingling if needed to fit
all the fennel on top. Spread the bread crumbs evenly over the gratin.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cut fennel fronds over the top. Serve with lemon wedges. Store in covered container for up to three days.