I'm a bit ashamed. Clearly this a work-in-progress photo. But as the end result was consumed in a matter of minutes, I can only be kinda upset that a final version photo didn't happen. Because this also marks a culinary triumph; one in which I was able to convince my roommate that not only is fennel delicious and useful for more than just sprinkling on salads, but that it's also uber-easy to make. Although now that I have accomplished this great feat, it means that she comes home with about 5 pounds of fennel from our weekly farmer's market. At least it's cheap!
Anyway, this recipe is an old favorite of mine. When I lived in Toronto, a friend of mine introduced me to Giada de Laurentiis. I was a bit skeptical a first (I mean, she smiles an awful lot) but when I tried some of her so-called "easy" Italian, I was hooked. Hooked enough to borrow my friend's copy of her recipe book and scan in every single page. So now I have Giada's glorious food wherever I travel. And, goodness me, is this recipe glorious. Mostly because it's so simple. Literally, you slice fennel, sprinkle it with olive oil, pepper, and salt. Roast it in the oven. Add parmesan to it. Roast it some more. And you're done! Well, now that I've given you the entire recipe, I feel foolish posting it but nevertheless...
4 tbsp olive oil, plus more for baking dish
4 fennel bulbs, cut horizontally and into 1/3 inch slices, fronds reserved
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat over to 375F. Lightly oil a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fenel is fork-tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve.
Serves 4-6 (or just 2 if you're feeling fennel-y)