Sardinia: Fennel Strata, Proscuitto di Parma & Leeks
This fennel is prepared as a Strata, which is very thick, not a soup, not a stew ... it is unique to Sardinia ... Lots of body, and lots of taste ... Lots of texture ... all you need is a good glass of wine ... and a great companion ...
Serves 4 with leftovers:
3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
2 large fennel bulbs chopped ( 4 cups )
2 shallots or 2 leeks chopped or spring onion
5 cups of chicken stock or vegetable or fennel stock
The dill looking needles on the fennel - hold for garnish
16 ounces of rustic crusty bread or a baguette or Italian hero bread
( cut into 1/3 thick slices )
1 cup chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil ( optional )
1 cup chopped proscuitto di parma ham or other Italian ham
1 cup grated pecorino or Reggiano parmesano or Padano
1) preheat oven to 350 farenheit degrees
2) heat oil in heavy large pot and add fennel & leek or shallots or spring onion
3) sauté until tender - 10 minutes
4) add the chicken stock or fennel stock and simmer until veggies are tender - 10 minutes
5) season broth and veggies with salt and pepper to taste
6) Layer like a lasagna, 1/4 bread slices in bottom of a glass baking casserole about 15 x 10 x 2 inches.
7) top with the stock, then 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes or ham and then 1/4 cup of pecorino or parmesano and repeat the layering 3 times
8) bake until the bread is very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed about 20 - 25 minutes
9) top with more pecorino ... and adjust seasoning ... sprinkle with the Dill Like Needles of the Fennel ...
*** This is normally served in Oliena, Sardinia where we were and of course I had asked for the recipe, loving fennel ... I make it for myself during the week quite often ...