I suppose fennel is a taste that you may be born enjoying. It is clear if you polled people you randomly came across that “licorice” isn’t a flavor that everyone loves. Me? I am a big fan. Black licorice makes me think of long ago family road trips, when I would sit in the back seat with one end of a coil of licorice rope in my mouth and nibble at it for mile after mile. It makes me think of sipping ouzo or sambucha in my adult years, with a piece of ice in it, turning the clear liqueur to a milky white. Oompah! Anyway. Licorice is a soothing, flavor that, well, makes me happy.
I haven’t begun to harvest my fennel yet (I am growing bronze leaf fennel, so no true “bulb” will form, though the stalks are thicker at the base), but I saw this simple recipe and cannot wait to try it very soon. Though I love the flavor of licorice, I have no experience cooking with it. Do you cook with fennel? What is your favorite use/recipe?
Roasted Fennel with Parmesan
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: —
Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 fennel bulbs, cut horizontally into 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly oil the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve.
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