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Fennel (Finocchio) Side Dishes
Green Beans and Fennel
Green Beans and Fennel
Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region, but has become widely naturalised in many
parts of the world.  This anise-flavored member of the parsley family is one of Italy's most
popular vegetables.
RECIPES
Baked Fennel with Parmesan
Fennel Gratin
Fennel and Green Beans
Sauteed Fennel with Garlic
Fennel has a bulbous base, stalks like celery, and feathery leaves that look like dill.  The bulb, the leaves, and the seeds of the
fennel plant are edible. The crisp and slightly sweet bulb is delicious served raw in salads. When sautéed, roasted, or grilled, the
flavor mellows and the texture softens.  Look for smooth white bulbs that are firm and free of cracks or brown spots.

Fennel is popular in the food of Tuscany and the South.  Fennel seeds are used to flavor pork dishes and the famous Tuscan salami
called la finocchiona, as well as other fresh and preserved sausages.  In Puglia and other southern regions, fennel seeds are often
used to make taralli (savory crackers), as well as bread and cookies.
How to Cut a Fennel Bulb:
Cut the stalks and fronds off the bulb. The fibrous stalks can be used to flavor fish stock.  The fronds can be used to garnish any dish that contains fennel.
If the bulb is discolored or tough, discard the outer layer.  Set the bulb on its flat bottom, top side up, then cut it in half.  If you want pieces to stay together for grilling, keep
the root end intact.  Otherwise, trim about a half inch off the root end and cut out the core.

For slices:
Set the fennel halves cut side down. Cut each half perpendicular to the fibers into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

For wedges:
Cut each fennel half lengthwise to make quarters. Cut each quarter lengthwise into thin wedges.
Baked Fennel with Parmesan Cheese
(Serves 4 to 6)

Ingredients:

2 large fennel bulbs, cut in half
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Cook the fennel in boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the fennel bulbs lengthwise into 4 to 6 pieces.  Place them in a buttered
baking dish.  Dot the top with butter; sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake until the cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Fennel Gratin
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 large fennel bulbs
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 ounces grated Gruyere, Parmesan or pecorino cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Butter a small baking dish.

Cut the fennel bulbs into quarters; place them in a large saucepan.  Add the
milk to the saucepan; bring the milk to a simmer.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes,
or until the fennel is tender.  Remove the fennel with a slotted spoon, reserving
the milk.  Arrange the fennel in the baking dish.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in the flour and then gradually whisk
in the reserved milk.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper; stir until
thickened.  Pour the sauce over the fennel.  Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs
and grated cheese.  Bake about 20 minutes or until browned.
Fennel and Green Beans
(Serves 4 to 6)

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
Fennel fronds reserved for garnish
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons orange juice
Zest from half an orange
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a bowl, toss green beans with 1 tablespoon
oil; set aside.

On a baking sheet, toss fennel slices with 1 tablespoon oil.  Season the fennel
with salt and pepper.  Bake the fennel for 15 minutes.  Turn the fennel slices
over and add the green beans.  Bake for another 15 minutes.  Transfer the
vegetables to a serving platter.  Drizzle orange juice over the fennel and beans.
Top with the orange zest, almonds, and reserved fennel fronds.
Sauteed Fennel with Garlic
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 medium fennel bulbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Trim the stems and fronds from the fennel bulbs.  Mince and reserve 1
tablespoon of the fronds.  Cut the bulb into 1/2-inch think slices.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute for 1
minute.  Add the fennel slices and toss to coat with the oil.  Cook, stirring
often, until the fennel is lightly golden, 10-12 minutes.  Season with salt and
pepper.  Stir in the reserved fennel fronds and the parsley; serve.
 
 
 
 
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ITALIAN VEGETABLE SIDE DISHES  >  FENNEL SIDE DISHES
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Some useful food words or terms that you may find in
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Grilled Italian Sausage with Broccoli Rabe and Cannellini Beans
Sausage is a prepared food usually made from ground meat, animal fat, salt and spices and is generally packed in a casing.   In the US, Italian sausage is a style of pork sausage usually with a fennel seasoning.