When I had a fennel bulb sitting in the bottom of the fridge, my friend Jude came to the rescue with this easy cooked-in-the-oven dish, a la Grecque in style, melt-in-the-mouth in texture and oh-my-goodness flavour-wise.
The fennel, topped with parmesan cheese, is slowly cooked in wine and olive oil until achingly tender, then uncovered and left to crisp and caramelise. It is perfect either hot from the oven or at room temperature. It works well as a side dish, starter or part of a mezze, tapas or grazing plate.
Fennel a la Greque with Parmesan
Heat the oven to 180C.
Trim your fennel bulbs and slice in half from top to bottom Cut each piece into 3 or 4 wedges. Place in a baking dish.
For each bulb, add half a cup of dry white wine and and quarter cup olive oil. If you don’t have wine on hand, use water with a little verjuice or a splash of vinegar. I have also been known to add orange juice and a slug of pernod in place of some of the wine.
Season with a little salt and some black pepper, and sprinkle the fennel wedges liberally with grated parmesan cheese.
Cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, then remove the cover and bake for another 30 mins or so until the cheese is crispy and the fennel has caramelised a little.
Serve hot or at room temperature.