This is such a simple yet elegant recipe that I often make it to go along with braised or roasted meat. Rich and creamy with just a crunch from the cheese topping, the unique taste of fennel really shines in this dish. For me, this is real Italian comfort food, and when I need pampering will often make this dish.
Deborah Mele 2011
Fennel in Béchamel Sauce With Parmesan Cheese
Creamy béchamel is used to cover fennel before baking, creating a tender side dish for grilled or roasted meats.
- 6 Fennel Bulbs
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmigiano
- 2 Cups Béchamel Sauce (Recipe Below)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter To Finish
- 4 Tablespoons Of Butter
- 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Milk
- Salt & Pepper
- Dash of Nutmeg
- To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.
- Once it has completely melted and is bubbling, add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Cook for a minute or two until the flour just begins to take on some color.
- Slowly start adding the milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
- Continue to simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, stirring often.
- Season with a pinch of salt, white pepper and nutmeg.
- Wash the fennel, strip away the outer layer of leaves if they’re tough, slice the bulbs into thin wedges about 1/2 inch thick.
- Use a sharp knife to cut out core pieces.
- Boil the sliced fennel for about 7 minutes in salted water, or until just tender when pierced with a fork.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Butter an oven-proof casserole dish, and transfer fennel to the dish.
- Pour the béchamel sauce over the fennel, and then sprinkle with the grated cheese.
- Dot the top with the remaining butter and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Serve warm.