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You read it right, meat-free Friday is back!! And this time around I’m going to do my best to really keep it meat-free – including no seafood. Vegetarian recipes will, as always, continue to be tagged as both vegetarian and as lent.

Have you ever wished that you could eat apple pie for dinner? This galette stuffed with sauteed apples and fennel, caramelized onions, and blue cheese is pretty close! Just like apple pie, this dish is great either warm or at room temperature; just be sure to store any leftovers in the fridge.

I don’t know where the idea came from, but while I was doing my weekly menu-planning, I decided that I wanted to make an apple and blue cheese galette. Thinking about it more I decided that, while it sounded great, it needed more – both to add bulk and make it filling as well as to add some sharpness to the flavor. I decided that caramelized onions would be perfect. Then I saw fennel while I was shopping and decided to grab that too. Apples and fennel pair perfectly, and together, the onions and fennel moved this dish squarely from the dessert column to the dinner column.

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In order to prevent the bottom of the crust from getting too soggy, I sauteed the apples and fennel to remove some of the liquid. I also waited until the end before adding the cheese. Blue cheese tends to give off a lot of water when it melts, so you don’t want to leave it in the oven too long or let it come into direct contact with the unbaked crust.

Despite leaving it in the oven a little too long (note the dark pictures), the resulting dish was fabulous. It was hearty and rustic and perfect for the cool weather. I could have easily eaten the whole galette (which would have been far from healthy!) but paired with a salad it made a filling dinner that I’m looking forward to having again.

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Apple and Fennel Galette with Blue Cheese

1 pie crust
2 baking apples (such as northern spies), peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
1/2 fennel bulb, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 Tbs butter
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350.
Set a medium sautee pan over medium heat. Add the apples and fennel and cook until just softened. Remove from heat.
Roll out your dough into a 9-inch circle and transfer to a baking sheet. Arrange the apples and fennel on the center of the dough, leaving a border of at least 1 inch all the way around. Fold this border up and over, covering some of the filling. (See top photo for example). Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the onion and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become soft and golden – about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the onions and cheese over the center of the galette and return to the oven. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust if fully cooked.
Cut into 8 wedges and serve.
Serves 8.
Approx. 170 calories, 11 grams fat, 1.7 grams fiber, 4 grams protein

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