Fennel is hands down one of my favorite foods.  Since I can remember, my family has been eating raw fennel after Christmas Eve dinners or Thanksgiving dinners as an after-meal digestive/breath freshener.

Fennel is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses, and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients ofabsinthe.  Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.

Here’s a very easy side dish that pairs well with any meal… any night of the week.

Ingredients:

-1 medium or large bulb of fennel

-olive oil

-salt & pepper

-crushed red pepper

-fresh shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Slice the fennel into about 1/4 inch thin circles.  Lay flat on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.

Let broil in the oven for about 6-8 minutes until golden brown.  Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

And that’s it!  Enjoy!

-Cristina