Photo By Brian Tietz


Chef’s Choice: Baked Cheese and Eggs with Fennel Marmalata

From Ryan Fredstrom of Angelina’s Ristorante

Inspired by a childhood dish from his grandmother, Angelina’s Executive Chef Ryan Fredstrom readily admits this recipe is perfect any time of day. It’s a dinner appetizer at the restaurant and will also likely guest-star for the annual Mother’s Day brunch at this sumptuous Bonita Springs den of Italian fine dining. Fredstrom says local organic eggs make a world of difference (his are from Circle C Farm). The marmalata, or marmalade, yields a big batch, about 1 ½ gallons, which can be jarred and stored (or substituted with preserves). 

24041 S. Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, 239-390-3187,


Baked Cheese and Eggs

1½ ounces Tomino, a soft Piedmontese cow’s milk cheese similar to taleggio

Sprig of rosemary

2 organic brown eggs, preferably local and free-range

Pinch of Maldon sea salt

2 long slices rustic bread

2 ounces Fennel Marmalata (see below recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice cheese in 6 even pieces, leaving the rind on, and lay flat in a cast-iron pan.

2. Pick 8 to 10 leaves off rosemary sprig and sprinkle over cheese.

3. Crack eggs over pan atop cheese.

4. Bake until egg whites are cooked through and the yolks are still slightly runny, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

5. Toast sliced bread. Spread room-temperature Fennel Marmalata on top. Then serve with warm cheese and eggs.

Fennel Marmalata

24 fennel bulbs

4 yellow onions

4 ounces olive oil   

4 ounces unsalted butter

2 ounces kosher salt

1 quart white vinegar

32 ounces granulated sugar   

2 quarts water

2 naval oranges

¼ ounce fresh thyme leaves

1. Remove tops and cores from fennel and thinly slice. Repeat same cuts for onions.

2. Place oil and butter over medium heat in a large rondeau or stock pot; add onions and fennel and let sweat for 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Once fennel and onions are translucent, add salt, vinegar, sugar and water. Cook for 1 hour over medium-
low heat. Meanwhile, peel and juice oranges and place both peels and juice in the fennel-onion mix while it is cooking. Add thyme leaves.

4. Once sugar starts to become thick and bubble, remove from heat.

5. Using an industrial-strength food processor, pulse mix until chunky and spreadable. Do this for the entire pan.

6. Let mix cool and store in airtight containers.