All the flavor and nutritional benefits of fennel, braised in milk and baked in a delicious, cheesy sauce. Serves 4.
4 medium fennel bulbs, fronds reserved
4 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Remove tough outer layer of fennel. Halve each bulb lengthwise and slice into 1/2-inch wedges.
2. In a 4-quart saucepan, saute' garlic lightly in 2 tablespoons butter. Add fennel and toss with garlic and butter to glaze thoroughly before adding milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-high heat to cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is fork-tender - 30 to 45 minutes. Season with crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked fennel to a 2-quart baking dish. Pour 1 cup of the cooking milk mixture over it. Sprinkle with a good Parmesan cheese, dot with the remaining butter and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Serve fennel garnished with some of the fronds.
~Recipe adapted from Saveur.