Finocchio al Forno (Fennel Baked in Cream)
Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune restaurant in New York City turned us on to this simple, classic Italian preparation, which calls for baking fennel in the oven with cream and Parmesan to create a luxurious gratin.
INGREDIENTS1 1⁄2 lbs. fennel (about 2 large bulbs), stalks removed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1⁄2" wedges
2 cups heavy cream
1 1⁄2 cups finely grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
INSTRUCTIONS1. Heat oven to 425°. In a bowl, toss together fennel, cream, and 1 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 3-qt. baking dish; dot with butter. Cover dish with foil; bake for 60 minutes.
2. Uncover baking dish; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until fennel is tender, about 30 minutes.