Fennel is probably one of my all time fave vegetables. I have seared it, grilled it, braised it, simply sliced it (raw)…. you name it. I have played around with this vegetable in my kitchen a lot. When raw it is fresh and anise in flavor with a gorgeous crunch and when it’s cooked it gets sweet and has the most satisfying bite, the flavor is truly addictive. You’ll see, it makes many appearances in my book. I am obsessed.
I prepared this dish the other night and I totally forgot how incredible it is. I had to share the recipe again (it was featured in an airbnb piece I did and never got the love on my site, so here it is)
The flavor in this dish is complex and bright. The lemon juice that gets baked into the fennel is KEY and the coriander lends to that citrus flavor so beautifully while also giving it a satisfying crunch. To finish it all off the grated parmesan gives it that salty, nutty bite and the lemon zest brightens the dish up all over again. I am addicted to this dish and now that it’s back in my life it will be on steady rotation. Ido doesn’t even like fennel and he licked the platter clean. Just sayin
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 fennel, stems removed (reserve fronds for garnish), sliced in half and then and then into thirds
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, crushed
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil. Season both sides of the fennel well with salt and pepper, and sear the fennel for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until lightly caramelized. When you are on your last fennel, turn the heat down to medium low. Add in the coriander seeds and garlic and toast lightly for a few seconds. Transfer all the seared fennel to a sheet tray and cover with the lightly toasted garlic and coriander seeds. Pour 1 tablespoon of water and the lemon juice onto the fennel. Cover the sheet tray with foil and put it in the oven. Let steam for 20-30 minutes, until a knife slides through easily. Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned. Remove from oven and plate the fennel, topping with fresh lemon zest and fennel fronds.
Photography by the one and only Peden and Munk.