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Finocchio; Florence fennel

Cream-Baked Fennel



½ stick (2 oz; 50g) butter
three or four trimmed fennel bulbs
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream (double cream)
2 oz; (50g) parmesan, or more

Fennel and pork — a perfect marriage.

Take a large oven-proof dish, preferably with a lid. Heat oven to 350°F 175°C. Half or quarter the fennel bulbs, cutting vertically. Pack them closely in your dish, in a single layer. Dot with butter; drench with cream; top liberally with grated parmesan, and season with freshly ground black pepper.

If your dish has no lid, use kitchen foil.

Bake, covered, for an hour or more, until the fennel is soft and tender. Remove the cover, add extra parmesan if you think it necessary, and turn up the temperature to 375°F 190°C, to brown the surface.

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