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Fennel is native to the sunny Mediterranean but thrives during the cool months of the year. Its delicate anise flavor lends itself to simple preparations: served thinly sliced and raw, baked, or braised, as here. Try it alongside fish, such as halibut or sea bass.

Braised Fennel with Parmesan


  • 4 fennel bulbs
  • ⅓ cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup (11 oz/45 g) shaved Parmesan cheese

Cut the stalks and feathery leaves from each fennel bulb, discard or reserve for another use. Peel away the tough outer layer of the bulbs and then cut the bulbs lengthwise into wedges. If the cores seem very tough, trim them, but do not cut them away fully or the wedges will fall apart.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the broth, cover, and cook until the fennel is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the fennel wedges to a bowl, sprinkle with the Parmesan, and serve.

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”

Alan D. Wolfelt

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