Athlete Food: Baked Fennel and Apples with Cheddar

Last year, my gluten-free diet made me feel left out at the Thanksgiving table. While everyone else dug into the four different kinds of stuffing on the buffet table (our family really does up stuffing!), I was left to pick through the breadcrumbs  for a few oysters and a piece of sausage. My plate looked kind of sad. 

This year, I'm bringing this baked fennel and apples dish. While it is no substitute for stuffing, it's something everyone can eat…and I'm thinking everyone is going to love. 

--Bec

ps - I hope you enjoy these photos from a recent hike we took to a hidden spot in the 'Gunks.

Baked Fennel and Apples with Cheddar

feeds a crowd 

Inside:

6 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples (about 5 medium-sized apples)

2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

sea salt

pepper

1 hot pepper, sliced very thinly (optional) 

Topping:

1.5 to 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (amount differs due to size of dish)

3 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss apples and fennel with thyme, salt and pepper in casserole dish (approximately 2.5 quarts or use a an 8x10 baking dish)

Distribute cheese evenly on top of apples and fennel. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of cheese. Place peppers decoratively on top. 

Bake approximately 40 minutes. Cheese should be golden and apples should be cooked, but still slightly firm.