Pomodori and Finocchio. Yum!

 

Pomodori (tomatoes) in Tuscan garden

 

Here are two yummy recipes featuring tomatoes (pomodori) and fennel (finocchio). They are very simple to do and both make a perfect side dish for your meals. And a big thank-you to Francesca for these recipes!

Baked Tomatoes

Many of you are probably doing some version of this, but I will include it for those who, like myself, sometimes forget about these simple dishes.

  • Medium to large tomatoes, cut in half.
  • Olive Oil

Place tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake slowly to desired dryness. I would suggest setting the oven to 250 or 300 degrees. 45 minutes to an hour is about right for getting just the right dryness. Keep in mind it might take a little experimenting with your oven to get them the way you like them.

You can, of course, be creative and vary this recipe to your individual tastes. Add bread crumbs on top, and good herbs to add are basil or oregano. Parmesan cheese can also be added for variety. Experiment and make the recipe yours!

Fennel

 

Finocchio (fennel)

 

Ok, those of you who know me pretty well know that I do not care for fennel seed or the dried herb. But the bulb? I had never tasted the bulb before this trip, and really couldn’t imagine that I would like it. However, being one to try most things at least once, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really like the bulb in both it’s raw and cooked forms. In the raw form it adds taste variety to salads and is simply good by itself. The simmered version adds variety as a tasty side dish.

  • Fennel bulb, or bulbs depending on how many you are cooking for.
  • Water for simmering. You don’t want too much water. It’s better to add water as needed.
  • A little salt if desired.

Slice fennel to preferred thinness and place in pan. Add water and simmer slowly until soft but not “mushy”. Now enjoy!

This is a very basic recipe that can be varied for variety if you prefer. Try simmering until not quite done, then place in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with bread crumbs and back 5 or 10 minutes. Try adding parmesan cheese on top. Herbs might be another option, perhaps a little tarragon. Again, experiment and make it yours.

 

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About Dana

I wear several hats: writer, photographer, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, traveler. Mostly I am a student of life, a work in progress, constantly moving towards a life full of meaning, joy and compassion. Join me on this journey and we will learn together.
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