Baked Fennel

This classic Italian finocchi gratinati is simply sublime.

Ingredients:
4 fennel bulbs, cored and sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup Grana-style cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a frying pan over high heat, sauté the fennel slices with the butter for about 15 minutes until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Transfer to a baking pan, sprinkle the fennel with the grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and melted.

Honey & Thyme-Roasted Carrots with Quesco Fresco

A delightfully-fresh spin on roasted carrots.

Ingredients:
1 bunch carrots, peeled
2 teaspoon butter, melted
2 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
⅛ teaspoon Guajillo chili powder
⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

2. In a small bowl melt butter in the microwave (about 15 seconds). Add honey, thyme, chili powder, smoked paprika and a pinch each salt and pepper to the melted butter and mix together.

3. Pour the seasoning mixture over carrots and toss to make sure they are evenly coated. Spread carrots out on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes.

4. Transfer roasted carrots to a serving dish and top with crumbled queso fresco and pomegranate seeds. Serve warm.

4. Transfer roasted carrots to a serving dish and top with crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds. Serve warm.

Cilantro-Lime Rice

A fantastic side to tacos, enchiladas and more.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups basmati long grain white rice
1 clove garlic, minced
2¼ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lime
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup lightly packed chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems

Method:
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add the raw rice and stir to coat with the olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice has started to brown. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

2. Add water, salt, and lime zest to the rice. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover and lower the heat to low to maintain a very low simmer. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes (check your rice package instructions), then remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork.

3. Transfer the rice to a serving bowl. Pour lime juice over the rice and toss with the chopped cilantro.

Honey-Balsamic Roasted Carrots

This slam-dunk recipe from Domenica Marchetti’s The Glorious Vegetables of Italy beautiful combines both savory and sweet flavors.

Ingredients:
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Put carrots in a large roasting pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey and 2 teaspoons vinegar. Pour over carrots. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Toss gently to combine.

3. Roast carrots for 10 minutes; toss, roast for 15 minutes more, or until carrots are tender and browned in spots.

4. Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with a few additional drops of vinegar and a dash of sea salt.

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