In Greek: τάρτα μαραθόριζα, say: TAR-tah mah-rah-THOH-ree-zah
Fennel root, often sold as “anise” is a fabulous winter vegetable with a light licorice taste and smell. Often used in salads, and as a complementary taste with fish, it has been well known and loved in Greek cooking since ancient times, where both the root and leaves (a Spring herb) are widely used.
This tart is very easy using prepared puff pastry, or you can used a prepared (uncooked) pie crust or your favorite crust recipe.
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 2 medium or 1 large fennel root
- sea salt
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 7 ounces (200 gr) of grated kefalograviera cheese (or romano or pecorino)*
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted, at room temperature
- * Note about cheese substitutes: When using a substitute for the kefalograviera in this recipe, romano is less salty (and less expensive).
- Trim stalks from fennel root, cut away damaged areas, and make a small cut into the root. Boil in salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes, until softened but not soft. Transfer to a colander to drain and cool.
- When the fennel root can be handled comfortably, cut in thin slices (similar to cutting onion rings).
- Roll out the puff pastry to fit a pie pan (fluted or plain), measuring about 12 inches in diameter and 2 inches high (or equivalent baking pan). Spread pastry over the bottom and up the sides.
- Note: If you have a favorite tart or pie crust, feel free to use it.
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C).
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until frothy. Add cheese and pepper.
- Spread fennel root slices over the pastry and spoon the cheese mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake at 390°F (200°C) for about 40 minutes, until nicely browned.
- Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer servings of Fennel Root Tart