Comfort food is not always meat or pasta, sometimes a healthy vegetable works as well – Baked Fennel with Parmesan & Cream is one that ticks all the boxes. Great to add in your list of favorite vegetable side dishes or even on its own! Simply delicious!
A lot of people do not like fennel because of its licorice flavor. Not me, I love adding them in salads (raw) and cooking with them.
If you’re one of those who cannot stand fennel, roasting or baking them actually lessens the licorice flavor.
I make this dish all-year round, but at least once a week when fennel is in season. If you have not tried cooking with fennel, fall and winter are the best time for them. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t look for other fennel recipes, might as well start with this one! 🙂
HOW TO MAKE BAKED FENNEL WITH PARMESAN & CREAM
CAN I USE PANKO FOR THIS VEGETABLE SIDE DISH?
It should be fine, but full disclosure, I have never used panko for this dish. Not because I don’t want to, but I just never have them on hand when I make this dish.
Regular breadcrumbs though, I have tons of ziploc bags full of them in the freezer. 🙂
CAN I USE DOUBLE CREAM FOR THIS BAKED VEGETABLE RECIPE?
I use it interchangeably with half & half for this recipe, and I am always happy with both results.
CAN I REPLACE PARMESAN WITH OTHER TYPES OF CHEESE FOR THIS FENNEL RECIPE?
You can, if you prefer other types of hard and mature cheese.
I have tried using ‘Grana Padano’ and ‘Pecorino’ – but I still prefer parmesan for this dish. I think it’s the ‘nuttiness’ in parmesan that goes so well with baked vegetables.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BAKED FENNEL WITH PARMESAN & CREAM?
As with other vegetable side dishes, I love pairing this with roasted (or grilled) meat.
For mains, I do not add anything else, just a glass of wine. But my husband, that’s a different story. He prefers to sprinkle crunchy pancetta or bacon bits on top – he says it ‘rounds it up’…? You could give that a try, perhaps? 😀
FOR OTHER VEGETABLE SIDE DISHES, CHECK OUT MY OTHER POSTS –
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE BAKED FENNEL WITH PARMESAN & CREAM
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 kg fennel bulbs
- 2/3 cup half & half
- 1/3 cup parmesan
- 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
- salt & pepper, to season
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Prepare the fennel bulbs by getting rid of the hard, outer portions, including the stems. Rinse and cut into four or eight portions, depending on the size of the bulb.
Use the butter to grease the baking dish. For this recipe, I used a 7-inch by 5-inch baking dish.
Arrange the fennel in the baking dish, cutting them into smaller portions, if they do not fit.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour half & half on the seasoned fennel bulbs.
Add parmesan, distributing them evenly on top.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Place baking dish in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top has browned a bit.
Take baking dish out of the oven and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. You can still see the cream bubbling on the sides of the dish during this time.
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