Blurry picture that I didn’t realize was blurry until after the meal was all gone Anyway, fennel is one of those vegetables that I wouldn’t normally buy at the grocery store. I made a dish with fennel when I was back in graduate school and didn’t care much for the flavor then so I’ve avoided it ever since. However, fennel made an appearance in my co-op share recently and so it was time to give fennel a second chance!
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Marsala cooking wine)
1 cup whole milk (I used skim milk)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/4 chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring (do not let it darken). Add the wine, milk, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and parsley.
Transfer the mixture to a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Lay the pastry on top, trimming to fit, and cut vents in it. Bake until the shrimp mixture is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Fennel naturally has a licorice taste to it when it is raw and that has been the main reason I don’t care much for it, but when cooked, the flavor mellows out significantly. This dish turned out well. I was getting home late again on the day that I made this, so I prepared everything ahead of time and Nick popped it in the oven when I was on my way home. I think because I had it in the refrigerator prior to baking, the puff pastry didn’t puff as much as I would have liked. It was still a little doughy in the middle. But overall, this dish tasted good. I didn’t calculate the calories for my skim versus whole milk substitution, but if you make it exactly as written, it comes in at 559 calories per person and I’m guessing if you make it with skim milk like I did, it should come in at close to 525 calories per person.