Let’s just say that The Professor actually paused the episode of The Next Food Network Star we were watching,*stood up, walked into the kitchen, and got MORE VEGETABLES.
*Yes, we watch TV while we eat dinner. #truth
So that’s probably all you really need to know.
Even people who say “I had a salad for lunch so I really don’t need vegetables at dinner” will happily eat this vegetable-based dish.
(Especially if you put cheese or bay scallops on top. Just an idea.)
So technically, this month’s Recipe Redux theme is “Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape,” and while this isn’t spiralized, ribboned, or cut into hearts or stars or diamonds…I’m going to say “wedge” counts.
Because this recipe needs to be shared.
I adapted this recipe to make it fit the low FODMAP diet I am currently following, and while I do have a bunch of saffron from Spain, I wanted to mess around with the sumac I purchased at World Market on a whim.
Delicious on it’s own, but even MORE fun when you make za’atar.
I also wanted to take advantage of the beautiful fresh tomatoes I have been getting from Farmer Dan at the farmers’ market…
…as well as the summer squash I always bring home in WAY too large amounts.*
*It wouldn’t all fit in the picture.
You can thank me for the sudden desire to eat veggies you see permeate your household later.
Za’atar Braised Fennel with Zucchini, Summer Squash, Tomatoes
[Low FODMAP, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian]
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium summer squash
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped, peeled fresh tomatoes with juices
- 1-2 Tbsp. garlic infused olive oil**
- 1 Tbsp. za’atar seasoning (recipe here, using 2 tsp. dried thyme instead of 2 Tbsp. fresh)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, Swiss, or other sharp, hard cheese (optional, but recommended)
- 1 cup brown rice, dry (or 8 oz. gluten free pasta or 1 cup quinoa, if preferred)
** Or 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil + 1-2 cloves garlic, minced if not following a low FODMAP diet
- Prepare rice (or quinoa) according to package directions while you braise the veggies. (If using pasta, wait until you add the tomatoes to the pan before cooking.)
- Chop off fronds of fennel bulb. Slice fennel in half, and then into wedges, about 1/4″ thick at the bottom.
- Chop up green fronds for garnish, if desired.
- Chop off ends of zucchini and summer squash. Slice in half horizontally, and then lengthwise. Cut into wedges.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a very big, high-lipped pan that has a lid.
- Add za’atar and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring well every so often.
- Add fennel, zucchini, and squash to the pan, trying to have every piece touch the bottom (not layered).
- Cook about 5 minutes or so, tossing occasionally after 3-4 minutes. Continue cooking until some color develops on the vegetables.
- Add tomatoes with juices to the pan. Cover, and continue to cook until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Top with cheese while hot so it melts.
- Serve over rice or pasta, sprinkling with reserved fennel fronds if desired.