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Gratin of fennel with stuffed roasted tomatoes

  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
4 large fennel bulbs
70g salted butter
50g freshly grated pecorino cheese
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomatoes

6 beef tomatoes
125g ball of mozzarella cheese (drained, finely chopped)
2 tbsps of crushed walnuts
2 tbsps freshly chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1) First of all remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulb into quarters. With a sharp knife remove the hard core at the bottom making sure that the leaves remain intact.

2) In a large frying pan melt the butter and fry the fennel quarters for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

3) In the meantime, mix the pecorino cheese with the nutmeg.

4) Place fennel in a heatproof serving dish and sprinkle with the nutmeg and pecorino cheese.

5) Place under a hot grill until crispy and golden brown.

Tomatoes:
1) Using a sharp knife cut a thin slice from the bottom of each tomato and discard.

2) Using a teaspoon, carefully scoop out the seeds and most of the pulp keeping the tomato shells whole.

3) Stuff with the mozzarella cheese, walnuts and finely chopped basil. Place the tomatoes on a baking tray and cook in the middle of a preheated oven at 190C/Gas 5 for approximately 20 minutes until the cheese mixture looks melted and golden. (Make sure that the tomatoes are not too soft).

Serve immediately with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.

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