Finocchio al Forno (Italian braised fennel)

Make room at the dinner table for this rich vegetarian side dish

This Italian braised fennel adds unexpected flavour to any dinner table.

1 large fennel bulb, (stalks removed) cut into 1/4" thick slices
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup grated hard cheese, like Gruyere, Parmesan or Pecorino
pinch grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
pinch black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F

Combine fennel, cream, 1 cup of the cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper in a small to medium Dutch oven, skillet, or casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Remove foil. Add remaining cheese and a pinch more nutmeg, if desired. Bake until cheese is golden brown and fennel is tender, about 15 min. 

Pro tip: Don't throw away the stalks and fronds of the fennel. Instead, add them to your tomato sauce and simmer away. You could also freeze them until the next time you need to make a batch of stock. The fronds are also a nice addition to any salad, especially one with citrus.

4-6 servings as a side dish
Cook Time:
1 hour, 15 minutes