Fennel adds a light, sweet anise flavor to meals.
- 3 large fennel bulbs
- 4 Tbs unsalted butter
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 Tbs flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 4 Tbs Pecarino-Romano cheese, freshly grated
- Heat a pot of water to boiling over high heat. Add the salt to the water.
- Trim the fennel bulbs of the leafy, fern like tops.
- Slice the fennel into ¼” slices.
- Drop the fennel slices into the water and cook for 3 minutes.
- Drain the fennel slices and set aside.
In an oven proof skillet heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the fennel slices and lightly brown. Remove the fennel and set aside.
- Add the flour to the skillet and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken stock, wine, and pepper to the skillet and mix well. Continue to cook until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Add the fennel back to the skillet and stir until well coated with the sauce.
- Top with grated Pecarino-Romano cheese.
- Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
Note: Fennel has been praised for its flavor and health benefits since the ancient Greeks and Romans. The ancient Greeks called fennel "marathon." Fennel was given as a reward to the famous runner Pheidippides in 500 BCE when he alerted the Greeks to the Persian invasion of their shores. (This is the story that took place after 300.) The paintings and statues of Pheidippides show him holding a sprig of fennel.
The Romans also held fennel in high esteem. It was eaten to maintain health and prevent obesity.