Simple Dinner

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on April 7, 2010

Passover weeknight 002

After these last few weeks of marathon cooking, shopping, planning and consumming I want to make a simple dinner.  Working with a few ingredients that are readily available and easy to assemble  spells relief from the heavy eating of Spring time holidays.  I am going to grill a simple rib steak, you could use chicken if you like, bake some fibre and vitamin rich garnet yams, and roast some sliced fennel with Shiitake mushrooms in the oven with olive oil and salt.  So easy and delicious.  Season your steak and set it aside.  Place the scrubbed yams in a foil pan to catch any sticky drippings that ooze out during baking.  Preheat the oven to 400°, then place the yams in the oven and bake for two hours. In the mean time, wash and cut up the fennel and Shiitake for the  recipe.  About 45 minutes before eating time place the fennel mix in a 350° oven.   About 1/2 hour before eating time, turn on your barbecue, indoor grill or you can use a grill pan.  

Oven Roasted Fennel with Shiitake Mushrooms

Beautiful white luminescent fennel bulbs with their green stems and fronds leave an irresistible aroma of licorice in the air as you slice into them.  Their raw crispness melting into soft, sweet slices with toasted edges as they roast, pairs well with the earthy taste of the Shiitake mushrooms.  A little salt and olive oil serve to brighten the complimentary flavors even further.  This is a fantastic side dish for any occasion and so easy. 

2 large fennel bulbs

8 Shiitake mushrooms

3 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt

Wash and dry the fennel.  Using a sharp knife, slice the green stems from the top of the bulbs.  These can be reserved for another use, such as in salad or soup.  Slice a thin piece off the bottom of each bulb.  Rolls the bulbs on their sides and make vertical slices about 1/4 inch thick all the way through the bulbs.  Then julienne the bulbs.  Sometimes there is a tough v shaped core that you may want to remove if the bulb is older.

To clean the mushrooms, take a damp towel or mushroom brush, probably to stiff for a Shiitake, and wipe the tops of the Mushrooms.  Use a scissor or sharp paring knife to cut off the stems.  The stem of the Shiitake are not edible and very woody.  Slice the mushrooms into matching size pieces to the fennel.

Toss the fennel and the Shiitake with the olive oil.  Spread the mix in a shallow baking pan single layer deep.

Roast the fennel and mushrooms in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes until the fennel is soft and the edges are turning crispy brown.  Remove from the oven and cover with heavy duty foil to keep warm.

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