|Fennel Anise Roasted with Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago|
I reluctantly admit, I am not one for licorice, as the flavor disgusts me. Imagine when I learned that the fennel seeds in Italian Sausage come from a plant that gives off a similar scent/taste to licorice. We love Italian Sausage in our home, especially sweet Italian Sausage, which has basil in it.
Fennel, also related to Anise, is a common ingredient in Italian cooking. The entire plant is used in varying ways. The bulb is eaten as a vegetable. Even the feathery leaves, sometimes called fronds, are used as vegetables or seasoning. Then you have the seeds which are used for seasoning, teas, and medicinal purposes.
I really enjoyed roasting the fennel with cheese on it. The cheese was a nice pairing as it took the edge off the "licorice" flavor of the fennel, making it seem a little more of a vegetable than tasting like the black jelly bean that gets thrown in my trash can.
Fennel Anise Roasted with Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago
- 2 Fennel or Anise Bulbs
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago combined.
Slice the Fennel bulb into serving size pieces. If you are not familiar with how to cut a fennel bulb, here is a great teaching video.
|Fennel cut into pieces|
Reserve your fronds for flavoring or decor if you so choose. I would chop a couple of teaspoons of the feathery portion to use on top. Otherwise, I do save a sprig as garnish!
|Fennel drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, |
pepper, and cheese
Now place your cut fennel into a olive oil sprayed baking dish, drizzle the tops of the fennel with more olive oil, season with salt and pepper and then sprinkle with the cheeses.
|Roast Fennel until tender.|
Roast until Fennel is tender when pierced with a fork and the cheese is golden brown. Sprinkle with Fennel fronds if desired. Serve as a side dish or appetizer.