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Roasted Fennel with Asiago and Thyme

September 15, 2012

When you roast fennel it takes on a whole new depth of flavor, much different than its raw form. The slight licorice flavor mellows and the roasted bulbs turn to a nutty sweetness. I think this side makes for a nice accompaniment to any grilled or roasted entree. I love this dish as we move into fall and winter cooking.

Roasted Fennel  (adapted from Fine Cooking)

Serves 4

2 large fennel bulbs (about 2 lb.)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 tsp fresh thyme, minced

1/2 cup asiago cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Put a baking sheet on the upper rack. Cut the fennel and trim away most of the core but leave enough to keep the layers together. In a medium bowl toss the fennel with olive oil, salt and pepper. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and place the fennel. Roast the fennel until tender and the bottoms are slightly browned, about 18 minutes. Turn the fennel sprinkle with thyme and Asiago. Continue roasting until the cheese is melted and golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with thyme.

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