Fennel and Belgian Endive Casserole
Notes: The vegetables cook in a plentiful cheese and cream sauce; spoon the sauce over the sliced pork. You can prepare the casserole through step 8 up to 1 day ahead; cool after baking, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. To reheat, remove plastic wrap; cover casserole tightly with foil and bake in a 375° regular or convection oven until bubbling and hot in the center, about 30 minutes, then continue with step 9.
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- Calories: 246
- Calories from fat: 66%
- Protein: 10g
- Fat: 18g
- Saturated fat: 11g
- Carbohydrate: 15g
- Fiber: 5.9g
- Sodium: 541mg
- Cholesterol: 55mg
- 6 heads fennel with stalks (each 3 to 3 1/2 in. wide)
- 3 heads Belgian endive (about 4 oz. each)
- 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or olive oil
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 8 ounces gorgonzola or dolce gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
- 1. Pinch off tender green fennel leaves; rinse, drain, wrap in a towel, place in a plastic bag, and chill up to 1 day.
- 2. Trim off and discard stalks, root ends, and any bruised areas from fennel heads. Rinse heads and cut in half lengthwise across widest dimension.
- 3. Trim off and discard discolored root ends and any discolored leaves from endive. Cut heads in half lengthwise.
- 4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Lay as much fennel as will fit, cut side down, in pan and brown lightly, 3 to 4 minutes; turn and brown curved sides, 3 to 4 minutes longer. If butter starts to scorch, add water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. As it is browned, transfer fennel, cut side up, to a shallow 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish, and brown remaining pieces.
- 5. When all fennel is browned, lay endive cut side down in frying pan and brown, 3 to 4 minutes, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water if it begins to scorch. Turn over and brown top sides, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
- 6. Remove pan from heat and transfer endive to a cutting board. Cut halves in half lengthwise. Tear prosciutto slices into long, narrow strips. Wrap endive sections equally with prosciutto. Fit endive pieces evenly among fennel pieces in casserole.
- 7. In the unwashed frying pan over high heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; add flour and stir until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in broth and cream. Return pan to high heat and whisk until boiling; boil and stir 2 minutes longer. Add 1/3 cup cheese and whisk until melted. Pour sauce evenly over fennel and endive, coating all surfaces. Cover tightly with foil.
- 8. Bake in a 375° regular or convection oven until fennel is just tender when pierced, about 40 minutes.
- 9. Uncover, dot with remaining cheese, and bake until browned, about 20 minutes. Chop 1/2 cup reserved fennel leaves and sprinkle over casserole. Serve hot.
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