Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sweet Potato and Fennel Pie

One of the many cold and beautiful Fall evenings recently my mother and I decided to create a mostly healthy dish using seasonal produce and continuing our effort to learn the magical ways of fresh fennel!  How does fennel taste so amazing? It adds this crisp almost vinegar-y flavor to food when it is baked and apparently it is also medicinal, even more reason to love and experiment with fennel!  On another recent Fall evening two of my close friend Serenity and Turner and myself got together to create the website and help plan the first InfocampPDX ever!  While much planning still has to happen I am proud to be part of planning what will be an amazing event.  For those of you who don't know what InfocampPDX is: Infocamp PDX is a one day unconference for people excited about connecting people with information.  This includes visual and user experience designers, librarians, web folk, and other InfoNerds.  So enjoy this dank recipe and consider attending InfocampPDX.

Serves 5

The Ingredients
1 medium to small sweet potato, peeled and cubed (small)
1 cup zucchini, cubed (small)
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 bulb fennel, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lowfat milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

The Process
1.  Cook sweet potato in salted boiling water, for about 8 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for about 4 more minutes. While these two things are still hot in a small bowl mash them together with milk and butter and set aside.

2.  Keep water boiling and add fennel and carrots, boil for about 8 minutes or until tender then take out of water and set aside.

3.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4.  In large skillet add some olive oil, about 2 tablespoons and heat over medium-high heat.  When hot add onion and cook for 10 minutes.  Then add mushrooms, garlic, basil, and parsley and cook for about 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

5.  Then grease a 9 inch glass baking dish with spray oil (note I used an oval shaped dish and it was too large).

6.  Begin the layering process, start by putting half of the sweet potato/zucchini mixture in dish, then add half of the mushroom/onion mixture, then half of the goat cheese and half of the cheddar cheese, then half of the fennel/carrot mixture, ...then layer last half of mushroom/onion, fennel/carrot, cheeses, and last finish with top layer sweet potato and zucchini mixture. 

7.  Put in oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown on top and serve!  Super hearty and delicious, and it is almost better the second day if you end up having leftovers:)

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