I adapted this from the namesake recipe in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. It’s very similar but with fennel you get that anise element. Still tastes yummy and is more local-ish to Cali with the chaparral name.
2 cups cooked and fluffed brown rice
1 cup cheese grated (swiss, cheddar, gouda are good, something melty)
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1 large or 3 small heads of fennel, chopped fine
1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds of broccoli
juice of one lemon
Cut broccoli into native shrubs. I.e. stalks with a small trunk at the bottom. Steam very lightly. Saute the onion, garlic, and fennel in the butter on medium. When fennel is soft and onions are translucent, add the rice and mix well. Add the beaten eggs with the salt in pepper and mix this well too. Spread the rice mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish. Plant the broccoli shrubs in the rice by making little holes. Squeeze lemon over the top of the broccoli chaparral. Sprinkle the whole hillside with cheese and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve by scooping out a bit of rice and a few broccoli bushes. This is a fun and kinda funny food.