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Fennel gratin with wild rice is a simple, vegan and delicious composition for dinner consisting of only a few ingredients. Cooked black rice is paired with par-fried fennel and a creamy, cheesy coconut milk egg mixture that bakes together for a delicious casserole with a slightly crisp crust. You can serve this fennel rice casserole as an accompaniment to almost any grilled or fried meal. Or serve it up with a garden salad on the side for a light vegan meal.
History of Fennel
The fennel as we know it today was cultivated by gardeners around the 17th century. A domesticated variety of wild fennel it has been growing across the Mediterranean, India and Pakistan for more than 2,000 years. While today’s fennel is a vegetable, its wild relative is a hardy perennial herb with hollow stems, feathery yellow flowers, and even more pinnate leaves.
While both bitter and sweet, wild fennel is an herb, it also produces seeds and has small swollen roots, making it three times more valuable. A herb, a spice and a vegetable.
Fennel is also known as medicine. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder drew up a list of 22 remedies, including fennel. Fennel is also mentioned in the 10th century Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, used to treat poisoning and infection, along with mugwort and cockspur grass. In the Middle Ages, malicious Venetian wine merchants apparently handed out bits of fennel and nuts to customers, knowing that this would improve the taste of bad wine. Doctors recommended fennel to their patients to get rid of bloating, incessant farting, aid digestion and sweeten bad breath.
Is Fennel Good For You?
- Due to its calcium content, it helps maintain bone strength.
- that also means it’s good for your skin.
- Fennel helps lower blood pressure.
- Is beneficial for digestion.
- A vegetable for cancer prevention.
- Helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
So dig in!
if you like our vegan fennel gratin with wild rice, you might also be interested in these dishes:
Fennel gratin with wild rice and creamy coconut sauce
for the rice:
- 200 G black jasmine rice*
- 500 ml vegetable broth
for the fennel:
- 2 fennel bulb
- 1 el lemon juice
for the casserole:
- Shichimi Togarashi* yep chili pepper
- fennel green
- lemon wedges
- Cook rice according to package directions with vegetable broth. My Thai Black Jasmine Rice cooks for about 60 minutes until done. I use this rice cooker for this, it always does it perfectly.
- If you don't have a rice cooker, you can of course use a saucepan. 1. Wash rice once or twice.2. Slowly heat the rice with twice as much salted water/vegetable stock in a closed saucepan and bring to the boil.3. Reduce heat, stir and simmer gently, covered, for about 50 minutes.4. After 50 minutes, remove the rice from the heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes.5. Fluff up with a fork.
- While the rice is cooking, we pre-cook the fennel a bit so that it is perfectly soft in the casserole.
- Clean the fennel and cut into rough wedges.
- Bring a shallow pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the lemon juice. Cook the fennel slices for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on their size.
- When cooked, the outsides should be almost tender and the hearts a bit firm.
- Mix the coconut milk with the flaxseeds, yeast flakes, lemon juice, Chinese five-spice powder and herbs de Provence. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C for a fan oven).
- Mix the rice with the coconut sauce and spread in the casserole dish.
- Place the pre-cooked fennel pieces on the rice and press in slightly. Brush the fennel with a little olive oil and bake in the oven for another 20 minutes.
- If the fennel threatens to get too dark, put some aluminum foil over it.
Arranging and serving:
- Serve your fennel gratin with lemon juice, some shichimi togarashi and/or fresh fennel greens.