Baked Fennel with bacon & cheese

Irisa Raina 9


This is one of those fall dishes that goes well with chicken, pork or beef. It is loaded with flavor and smells so good as it bakes!
And when you put this on the table be prepared for { ohhhhh’s and ahhhhhh’s } and smiles.
If you don’t have or can’t find Panko bread crumbs, you can use Progresso Italian bread crumbs.
I served this dish with a simple roasted chicken and buttermilk mashed potatoes.

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2 medium fennel bulbs
8 ounces of bacon { cut into small bite size pieces }
1 small onion { chopped into small pieces }
3 -4 cloves of roasted garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup chicken stock
¼ teaspoon italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese blend { divided in ½ }
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
parchment paper, non stick foil or non stick spray

Directions Step-By-Step

In a frying pan fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels { do not discard bacon grease }.
Sauté the onion & the garlic in the bacon grease till the onion has caramelized slightly, remove from the grease.
Cook the chicken stock with the butter, salt, pepper & Italian seasoning on low till the butter has melted, and then remove from the heat.
Cut off and discard upper stalks of the fennel. Remove any wilted outer layers and cut a thin slice from each fennel base.
Wash fennel and cut each bulb into quarters.
In a shallow baking dish either spray with a non stick spray or line with parchment or foil, and arrange the fennel quarters in the baking dish, cut side up.
Spread the onion/garlic mixture on the top of the fennel.
Pour the broth mixture over the fennel { make sure you don’t move the onions off the fennel } and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake, covered, in a 325 degree F oven for 1 hour.
Mix the remaining Parmesan cheese with the bacon and the Panko.
Remove cover; sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese/Panko, bacon mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes more or until fennel is tender and top is golden.
Baking time on this will depend on your oven.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids