{Recipe} Roasted fennel with parmesan

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I don't like liquorice. I mean I really don't like it. So, knowing that fennel has anise-like taste, I always avoided it. Well, that is until it was part of an antipasto platter at a tiny Italian restaurant. Everything looked so good: beautiful, glistening with oil, roasted peppers, sweet garlic, grilled to perfection eggplant and a slice of something covered with slightly charred melted Parmigiano Reggiano. I cannot resist cheese, especially melted cheese. That little something tasted... hmmm... it tasted vaguely familiar and oh, so good. I asked the waiter after and it turned out it was fennel that I avoided for many years. We visited that restaurant a few times and always ordered that appetiser. Finally, I had to ask for the recipe and was surprised that they did not keep it a secret. 

This post is for my dad. I had a big family dinner in December and this fennel was on the menu. He liked it so much that he attempted to make it after, but it did not turn out too good. So, all the step-by-step pictures are for him :)

Fennel - 1 bulb
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated in a food processor - 1/2 cup or more
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  • Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut both ends off fennel.
  • Stand the bulb on the cut edge and slice it as thinly as possible. 
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  • Arrange slices on a baking sheet. Don't worry if fennel breaks, just bundle them together in a thin layer that resembles one slice. Melted cheese will keep pieces together.
  • Put a pea-size amount of butter onto each slice.
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  • Generously sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until fennel has shrunk a little bit, cheese is charred and the edges are crispy.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
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    Posted on January 28, 2013 and filed under Recipe.