A touch of cream mellows and sweetens the fennel. Use a slotted spoon to drain the slices for serving, or spoon up the fennel with all its liquid and offer hot Tuscan bread to sop up the juices.
- Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- 4 medium-sized or 3 large fennel bulbs
- 4 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. crushed fennel seed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly rub 21/2-quart casserole with olive oil.
- Slice away and reserve fronds from fennel bulbs. Cut thin slice off bottom of each bulb, and remove any bruised outer leaves. Mince enough of fronds to make 4 tablespoons, and discard remainder. Mix minced fronds with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and reserve.
- Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Slice bulbs from top to bottom lengthwise in 1/2-inch-wide slices. Transfer slices to boiling water, and cook until half done, for about 5 minutes. Drain, and place slices in casserole. Add vegetable broth, cream, fennel seed, salt and pepper to casserole. Broth should partially cover fennel. Add more broth, if needed.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano mixture, and bake for 15 minutes more, or until golden.
- Remove from oven, and serve hot or lukewarm.
- Serving Size: SERVES 8
- Calories: 80
- Carbohydrate Content: 9 g
- Cholesterol Content: 10 mg
- Fat Content: 4 g
- Fiber Content: 4 g
- Protein Content: 3 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 2 g
- Sodium Content: 110 mg