Fennel Gratin

5 medium fennel bulbs
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod or ouzo (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 1 1/2-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Trim off stalks and tough outer layers from fennel. Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Then cut each half into 4 wedges. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more. Pour in broth, lemon juice and anise liqueur (if using); cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared dish. Bake, uncovered, until the fennel is very tender, about 45 minutes. Combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs; sprinkle over the fennel. Bake until the top is golden, about 10 minutes longer.

From: Eating Well

6 servings: 150 calories, 4g fat, 6g fiber


Salade Nicoise with Creamy Tofu Dressing

The potatoes were not cooked enough so out they went. I substituted some homemade sourdough croutons.

Dressing:
1 T water
1 T red wine vinegar
1-2 T lemon juice
1-2 t fresh thyme
Salt
Pepper
4 oz silken tofu (low fat)
2-4 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove

Salad
4 Small red potatoes, boiled, cooled and sliced
Small green beans, quick boiled and cooled
1.5 pounds tuna (can/pouch works fine too)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick wedges
Hard boiled eggs, sliced
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
1 T capers (did not use)
24 green pitted picholine olives (if can't find, use herbed Provencal)

Place first 9 ingredients into blender, process for 1 minute. Cover and chill. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Spray grill pan with oil and cook until done, about 4 minutes each side. Break fish into large chunks. Arrange ingredients decoratively on a serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley, capers and olives. Drizzle with dressing.

Serves: 6
From: Cooking Light
Calories: 276
Fat: 9g
Fiber: 4g


Pan Bagnat

This is so good. Not the lightest dish but seemingly pared down from the original.

1.5 pound tomatoes, .5 pound of which peeled and finely chopped or blended (I grated), the rest sliced
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced or put through press, add salt and pepper
2 T olive oil

2 long baguettes, cut in half lengthwise
1 small head of lettuce (Boston or similar), cut/torn into small pieces
1 can water-packed tuna, not drained
1 bunch of basil, chopped
Nicoise olives, chopped (about 1/2 C)
Anchovy fillets (optional)
1 large green pepper, sliced
(Other optional: sliced cucumber, thin green beans blanched and cut, sliced onion, grated carrot)

Blend the grated/blended tomatoes with vinegar, mustard, garlic and oil. Lay out bread slices and add generous spoonful of mixture to each half. Press into bread w/ back of the spoon. (I could stop here and just eat as is...)

Toss together the lettuce, tuna, basil, olives and any other chopped or grated optional ingredients. I cut up the anchovy fillets, about one per sandwich and laid them on the bread. Press tuna mixture onto one side of bread. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Top with sliced tomatoes and green peppers (sliced onion or cucumber if desired). Place top half of bread on each. Wrap tightly in tin foil and press down. Add a weight on top to further press (I used a large cutting board with cookbooks on top). Do this for a half-hour to 45 minutes and then place sandwiches in 'fridge until ready to eat. Unwrap and slice. Heaven!

From: Provencal Light by Martha Rose Shulman
Calories: 270
Fat: 7 G


Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Morels

This is easy, excellent, and great to serve to guests (they'll think you're a culinary genius!).

1 ounce (1 C) dried morels (and enough boiling water to cover)
1 3-pound free-range chicken
1 T olive oil
A bit of butter
Salt and pepper
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
(That's it -- can you believe it?)

Place morels in bowl and pour boiling water to cover. Let sit 20 minutes, until softened. Drain and squeeze mushrooms dry -- reserve liquid.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms and rosemary in cavity. Lightly oil a baking dish that is not much bigger than the chicken (important!) and place chicken in dish. Bake for 20 minutes on one side, turn and bake for 20 more, turn upside down for 20 more. Baste chicken every 10-15 minutes while baking.

Transfer chicken to serving dish and loosely cover with foil. Pour off fat from baking dish. Pour rest of “juice” from baking dish, the bit of butter and strained mushroom liquid into a saucepan. Heat and stir with whisk, reduce by half and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove morels and rosemary from chicken. Carve chicken and serve with morels and gravy.

Serves: 4
From: Entertaining Light, by Martha Rose Shulman

Calories: 290
Fat: 13 g