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Roasted Fennel with Asiago and Thyme

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

Roasting fennel brings out its mellow sweetness; a sprinkling of thyme and grated Asiago dresses it up. If you double this recipe, use two baking sheets so the fennel isn’t too crowded to brown.

  • 2 large fennel bulbs (about 2 lb. total)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup packed grated Asiago cheese

Position a rack in the top third of the oven, put a large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 500°F.

Trim the fennel, quarter each bulb vertically, and trim away most of the core, leaving just enough to hold the layers intact. Slice each quarter into 4 wedges.

In a medium bowl, toss the fennel with the olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and quickly spread the fennel on the sheet, with the largest pieces toward the edges of the pan. Roast until the fennel pieces are almost tender and the bottoms are lightly browned, about 18 minutes.

Flip the fennel, sprinkle with the thyme and then the Asiago, and continue roasting until the cheese is melted and golden, 3 to 5 minutes more. With a spatula, transfer the fennel and any lacy, golden cheese bits to a serving dish.

Variations

Turn this side dish into a hearty main by tossing the roasted fennel with pasta and topping it with garlicky toasted breadcrumbs.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 150; Fat (g): fat g 10; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2.5; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 12; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 250; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 10; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very tasty! I have made it multiple times and am making it tonight rather than a potato-fennel gratin in order to have something lighter. Follow the recipe as is - no need to fiddle.

This is delicious! We liked it so much that it only served two. It's a tad salty so it would be best as a complement to something less so.

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