Baked Fennel

Ingredients

4 bulbs fennel, untrimmed

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

4 ounces blue cheese

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

salt to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse fennel. Trim off stems, and reserve about 1 cup of the tender green leaves. Trim any bruises or dry looking areas from fennel. Cut each bulb in half from stem through root end.
  2. Lay fennel bulb pieces in a 10 inch frying pan, and add broth. Cover, and bring to a boil on high heat. Simmer until fennel is tender when pierced, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer fennel to a shallow casserole, 9 to 10 inched wide; lay cut side up.
  3. Boil broth, uncovered, on high heat until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in about half the fennel leaves. Spoon mixture evenly over fennel.
  4. Mash cheese with bread crumbs. Dot mixture evenly over fennel. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day. Also wrap remaining fennel leaves in a towel, seal in a plastic bag, and chill.
  5. Bake casserole, uncovered, at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until cheese begins to brown and fennel is hot, about 20 minutes. Tuck remaining leaves around fennel. Season to taste with salt.