“The fennel is beyond every other vegetable, delicious. It greatly resembles in appearance the largest size celery, perfectly white, and there is no vegetable equals it is flavour. It is eaten at dessert, crude, and with, or without dry salt, indeed I preferred it to every other vegetable, or to any fruit.”
Here’s an easy thing to do to fennel bulbs - plentiful in this neck of the woods, farmer’s market’s bursting with them. It’s fork-tender, savory, extremely low fat, deliciously lemony and super simple to make.
LEMON BRAISED FENNEL
4 large fennel bulbs
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
2 lemons, Meyer preferably, zested & squeezed
olive oil spray
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Trim off the stalks of the fennel bulbs and save some green fronds to garnish it before serving. Quarter them (see above) and place single layer cut sides up on a olive oil sprayed rimmed sheet pan. Pour in the lemon juice and chicken or veggie stock. Season with salt & pepper & top with the lemon zest. Cover tightly with foil & bake at 350 for 45 minutes (less if they are not large bulbs), till the stem ends are tender.
This is a good holding point or proceed by uncovering them and topping with Parmesan. Bake again about 15 minutes or pop under the broiler to give it a bit of color if you like. KEY: Serve with the pan juice drizzled on top & a few sprigs of the fennel fronds.
This dish is delicious “al fresco”, i.e. it’s patient & happy to wait for the guests at room temperature even for a couple hours, or refrigerated for the next day.
Love, Lynette La Mere, Executive Chef, Pure Joy Catering