Braised Fennel with Parmesan

From Moosewood Restaurant New Classics


Sauté:                                                               Seasoned Bread Crumbs:

2 Fennel bulbs                                                  2 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP olive oil                                               1 garlic clove, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped                                   ½ cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp fresh ground fennel seeds *optional          

1 tsp salt                                                          

3 TBSP water

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

fresh ground black pepper to taste


   Slice the fennel bulbs lengthwise into narrow wedges about 1/8 inch wide.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and ground fennel (if using) for several seconds.  Stir in the salt and the sliced fennel and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the water, cover, and increase heat slightly.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.

   Meanwhile, make the seasoned breadcrumbs.  Warm the olive oil in a small skillet.  Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds.  Add the breadcrumbs and stir until golden and crunchy, about 5 minutes.  When the fennel is tender, transfer it to the serving dish and evenly sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.  Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh ground black pepper.