Wild rice bound with egg and cheese makes a lovely (and gluten-free) crust for this stunning, quiche-like pie stuffed with roasted garlic and fennel. Try it for brunch, as a vegetarian entree or as an impressive potluck offering.
Cook rice in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 45 to 55 minutes. Drain; let cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F.
Rub off excess papery skin from garlic head without separating the cloves. Slice the tip off, exposing the cloves. Place the head on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and wrap into a package. Roast on the top rack until the garlic is soft, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on size. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then gently squeeze the cloves out of the skin.
Meanwhile, remove fronds and/or stalks from the fennel and trim the bottoms. Keeping the cores intact, cut each bulb lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss the fennel in a bowl with marjoram, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on the bottom rack until golden brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the fennel over and continue roasting until golden brown on the other side, 5 to 10 minutes more.
Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray. Combine the cooled rice, 1 egg, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Press evenly into the prepared pie pan. Bake the rice crust on the top rack until firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
When the garlic, fennel and crust are done, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees .
Whisk milk with the remaining 5 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour into the cooled crust. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Arrange the fennel and garlic in the egg mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake the pie until puffed and golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate rice, garlic and fennel separately for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before finishing the pie.
Equipment: 9-inch deep-dish pie pan
1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat, 1/2 high-fat meat, 1 fat