Wild Fennel and Eggplant Bake

This is a recipe I was meaning to post a couple months ago, and am now doing so I can add it to www.amoderatelife.com‘s Tenth day of Bloggi-mas that I have been doing my best to be a part of this year. Today is casserole day. I made this for our Canadian Thanksgiving this year and it was a hit. It is best when cooked the night before and re-heated as the flavors have a chance to age and deepen together divinely. I used the wild fennel I harvested from our alley. Wild fennel has a much more vibrant flavor than cultivated so just use more if you haven’t a place to forage for wild fennel seeds.

  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 coconut’s cream
  • 2 T wild fennel seeds, ground
  • 8 large tomatoes, skin off and sliced thickly across
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

Method:
I like to use Listada de Gandia eggplants for this recipe which are the ones with the lovely purple and white stripes. They remain firmer when cooked than other types, which is good for this dish (but feel free to use any type!). I also used tomatoes from our local farmer’s market, which also makes a huge difference.

I made my own coconut cream by poking holes in an old coconut’s eyes (they have three on one side) and setting it on a glass to drain out the coconut water (delicious stuff). Then I smashed open the shell with a hammer and pried out the flesh from the shell. This I put through my juicer to get the coconut cream–what a process–but delicious!

Use the coconut oil to grease the casserole dish and then layer the eggplant slices, the tomato slices and then scatter over the onion slices and garlic slices. Sprinkle over this with black pepper, salt and fennel seed. Repeat the layers another one or two times. Pour over the coconut cream and sprinkle the top with ground sumac and wild fennel (nice green and red colors). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 3/4 to one hour.

2 Comments

  1. Marie says:

    Cool! I just snagged a bunch of wild fennel heads (it’s still summer here so, no seeds) when I was out on a walk yesterday. I’ll try and use them for this.

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