Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fennel Baked in Milk (Finocchio con Latte al Forno)

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.

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