Baked Fennel a lá Française

Credit for this recipe belongs to a dear, dear friend of mine who came to spend New Year’s Eve with us this year. Kelly loves Italy the way I love France, and she made a version of this for our New Year’s Eve feast. I, of course, don’t know how to leave a recipe alone, and so the next time I made it- because it is very delicious and very easy to make- had to change it up. I’ll give you the French inspired version first, followed by the traditional Italian way taught to me by Kelly. Either way you prepare it, you will not be disappointed! And, if you feel so bold, you can change a few things and make it your own. Bon Appétit! Or, as the Italians say- Buon Appetito!



Baked Fennel a lá Française

Serves 4 as a small side dish- if this is dinner, make more!


one fennel bulb, chopped lengthwise

3-4 tbs olive oil

2 slices of cured ham such as jambon d’auvergne, jambon serrano, or prosciutto, diced

1/4 cup of shredded comté (preferably aged), parmigiano reggiano will also work

1 tbs breadcrumbs (gluten-free if need be)


Place fennel in an oven proof baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the fennel. Sprinkle on the meat, then the cheese, and lastly, the breadcrumbs. Bake in a 375 (fahrenheit) degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the fennel has softened. How easy was that??

Italian Version

Chop one fennel bulb lengthwise and place in an oven proof dish. Cover with 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil- about 5-6 tbs. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until fennel is thoroughly softened. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. How’d I do Kelly??


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