Bacon Broccoli w/ Dijon Vinaigrette

Bacon BroccoliThere’s a reason to keep bacon on hand. It enlivens pretty much everything…Sundaes? Add bacon. Chocolate Chip Cookies? Add bacon. Kale, Broccoli, or any other good for you veggie? Oh yeah…definitely add the bacon.

Many of you have indicated you’re working towards incorporating more veggies into your diet, but that you can’t get past the idea you grew up with that veggies don’t taste that great. Inevitably, you reach for them last, not first, and they become the hurried afterthought, not the delicious dinner companion they could be.

Broccoli is a superfood that should be a mainstay in your weekly diet. It’s high in lutein (meaning it’s good for your eyes) and rich in antioxidants that may help prevent certain kinds of cancer.

We just think it tastes good- especially when paired with a little bacon, sundried tomato & shallots.. Not that we think you’ll have leftovers, but if you do, leftover bacon broccoli is perfect the next day in scrambled eggs. We often make extra large portions so that we can include vegetables in our breakfast the next morning. Any vegetable that works with scrambled eggs and cheese is a winner with the Kitchen Divas in Training.

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Baked Fennel a lá Française

Credit for this recipe belongs to a dear, dear friend of mine who came to spend New Year’s Eve with us this year. Kelly loves Italy the way I love France, and she made a version of this for our New Year’s Eve feast. I, of course, don’t know how to leave a recipe alone, and so the next time I made it- because it is very delicious and very easy to make- had to change it up. I’ll give you the French inspired version first, followed by the traditional Italian way taught to me by Kelly. Either way you prepare it, you will not be disappointed! And, if you feel so bold, you can change a few things and make it your own. Bon Appétit! Or, as the Italians say- Buon Appetito!

 

 

Baked Fennel a lá Française

Serves 4 as a small side dish- if this is dinner, make more!

Ingredients

one fennel bulb, chopped lengthwise

3-4 tbs olive oil

2 slices of cured ham such as jambon d’auvergne, jambon serrano, or prosciutto, diced

1/4 cup of shredded comté (preferably aged), parmigiano reggiano will also work

1 tbs breadcrumbs (gluten-free if need be)

Directions

Place fennel in an oven proof baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the fennel. Sprinkle on the meat, then the cheese, and lastly, the breadcrumbs. Bake in a 375 (fahrenheit) degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the fennel has softened. How easy was that??

Italian Version

Chop one fennel bulb lengthwise and place in an oven proof dish. Cover with 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil- about 5-6 tbs. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until fennel is thoroughly softened. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. How’d I do Kelly??