“Steamed or just boiled fennel is a bit limp and has little appeal but when you finish it in the oven with a stock that has flavour and good quality Parmesan cheese it is really good. Do not over cook when you put it in the boiling water Recipe Instructions amended 28 Jan 08”
1 1/2 lbsfennel, trimmed and cut in half
3tablespoonsbutter( margarine will do)
salt & pepper
1/2 cupchicken stock( or use vegetable stock)
1/2 cupparmesan cheese, grated
Trim off the fronds and outer hollow stalks so you are left with the fennel bulb, trim off the hard bottom and cut each bulb in half Heat oven to 400F and bring a pot of water to boil, salt it.
Place the halved fennel bulbs into the boiling water and cook 3 minutes, the fennel must still be crisp.
Do not overcook.
Remove and plunge into icy water to stop the cooking and drain.
Slice the fennel thinly.
Grease a baking dish with some of the butter place the fennel into the dish, sprinkle with salt& pepper and pour in the stock. bake uncovered for 10 minutes in 400°F.
After baking 10 minutes top the fennel with the remaining butter and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Continue baking forapprox 15 minutes.
The stock should be evaporated and the cheese golden.
For Vegetarian use vegetable stock.
“This only half worked for me. After 30 minutes, almost all the stock was still sitting in the bowl, although the parmesan-cheese top was nicely browned. I left it in an extra five minutes, but by then the cheese was in danger of burning so I had to take it out. I drained off the stock and it tasted okay, but I was a bit disappointed to waste all that stock. The fennel remained a little crunchy, which was nice. I think if I had used 1/3-1/2 cup stock it would have worked better. The other option might be to add all the stock but only top with parmesan halfway through cooking.”