Sliced fennel is layered with Parmesan cheese and drenched in butter in this dish from Emilia-Romagna. It’s a lovely way to serve a very underrated vegetable and is particularly delicious served with fish or chicken.
6 large fennel bulbs (or 8 small ones)
185g/6½oz/generous ¾cupunsalted butter, melted
185g/6½oz/generous 2cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
sea salt and ground black pepper
Boil the whole fennel bulbs in a pan of salted water for 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cut them lengthways into finger-thick slices.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Brush some of the melted butter over the base of an ovenproof dish.
Arrange half the fennel in a layer in the dish and cover with half the melted butter and Parmesan, then a sprinkling of salt and ground black pepper. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, and serve, sprinkled with extra Parmesan.