Recipe For Finocchio | Fennel Parmigiana

You may be familiar with the Southern Italian dish melanzane parmigiana which uses eggplant / aubergine. I am having a love hate relationship with aubergine at present. I think it has to do with the fact that for the past 6 months or so I have been buying baby aubergines. They look very pretty but I think the skin to flesh ratio is just not right for me. I don’t like the texture of the skin unless it is in a caponata and I prefer the texture of the flesh when made into a baba ganoush. I tried making a melanzane parmigiana and after the first bite I decided I would make the dish again using fennel instead. Fennel and tomato is a match made in heaven and I loved the texture that the fennel had when cooked in this way. I know a lot of people do not like the aniseed / licorice taste of fennel but I am slightly addicted to it. My go to spice is star anise so knowing that, I should have known that I would love the fennel parmigiana. You can make this like I did in small cocottes for individual portions, or you could make a large dish to serve as a side. Either way, I am sure you will enjoy my version of this classic dish.

are you a fan of fennel?

Fennel Parmigiana
Finocchio Parmigiana

Finocchio | Fennel Parmigiana Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • 15mls olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1.25mls sugar - I used fructose
  • 15mls red wine vinegar
  • 125mls vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 30mls chopped fennel fronds
  • 5g butter
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced
  • 15mls white wine
  • Parmesan cheese for grating
Method
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic until soft
  3. Add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and stock
  4. Season to taste and simmer until the tomatoes are soft
  5. Add the fennel fronds and cook for 5 minutes
  6. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool
  7. Heat the butter in the pan and add the fennel
  8. Deglaze with the white wine and cook until the fennel is soft
  9. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  10. In an ovenproof dish, layer the tomatoes and the fennel, ending with tomatoes
  11. Top with grated Parmesan cheese
  12. Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot

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34 thoughts on “Recipe For Finocchio | Fennel Parmigiana

  1. Your fennel sounds great cooked this way. I have had it roasted with cheese but not the tomatoes.

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    1. I shall have to try is roasted next time!

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  2. I tend to go back and forth on whether or not I like fennel..but covered in cheese, I think I could become a hard and fast fan!
    Joanne sharing the blog ♥ Recipe: Perfect Vanilla CupcakesMy Profile

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    1. This will convert you for sure!

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  3. I love the taste of fennel in pasta and pizza. This looks delicious. I am definitely a fan of fennel.
    food fashion and flow sharing the blog ♥ Blackberry Goat Cheese SaladMy Profile

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    1. I must try fennel on pizza! Thanks for the visit 🙂

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  4. Indian cooking thrives on fennel so yep, definitely a big fan 😀
    This looks delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. I must find some Indian recipes with fennel in them 🙂

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  5. I have got to-got to- get on this fennel bandwagon…this recipe is inspiring!

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    1. thank you so much Squishy 🙂

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  6. Love love love Fennel, raw, cooked whatever! Great recipe Tandy x

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    1. Thank you Lisa 🙂

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  7. Looks like a really tasty dish, Tandy. I’m not a big fennel user, but I imagine it’s great in this recipe.

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    1. I think it is an acquired taste AD 🙂

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  8. I am not sure if I am a fan, but I like it 🙂
    Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today sharing the blog ♥ Baked eggs with bacon and parmesanMy Profile

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    1. Which is a good thing!

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  9. This looks terrific. I am a huge fennel fan!

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    1. Thanks Tammy 🙂

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  10. I love fennel. My favourite way to cook it is to simply braise it in a little chicken stock and then sprinkle in some parmesan at the end although I did make a delicious fennel gratin the other day too. Your fennel dish looks amazing. One for me to try.

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    1. And your favourite way is a dish I must try!

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  11. love the idea of Fennel and i also agree about the skin of the egg plant dont like it–

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    1. I am going to try and peel my egg plants next time I use them 🙂

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  12. Great idea! I love parmigiana but Big Man is not so keen on aubergines but we both love that anis flavour of fennel. Does it become tender when cooked for only 20 mins?

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    1. I like some crunch to my food so it still had a bit of a bite 🙂

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  13. I’m a big fan of fennel but interestingly, not of Ouzo or licorice which is too aniseedy for me 🙂
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella sharing the blog ♥ Hallelujah Curry!My Profile

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    1. Ouzo I can give a miss as well!

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  14. Interesting – I’ve never had fennel baked with tomato before, only as a gratin which is also good. I do like fennel but never see it in the shops out our way. i used to love it in salads when I was working in Italy.
    Kit sharing the blog ♥ Bracken the KittenMy Profile

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    1. It grows wild in the Western Cape so it might be something you can grow at home?

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  15. Very good idea. I’m very keen on fennel too.

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    1. Thanks Roger 🙂

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  16. I love fennel and use it in salads: thin slices of raw fennel matched with grapefruit filets, roasted pine nuts – delicious!
    Barbara sharing the blog ♥ The Third TimeMy Profile

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    1. I must try that combination! Thanks for the tweet love Barbara 🙂

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  17. I love this recipe and fennel is on the shopping list for tomorrow. Love eggplant too and have used both large and small: had never thought of the skin/flesh ratio, but think I agree with you: I normally do keep the skin on. It took me a long time to ‘like’ fennel because of its specific taste: now very much like it in fennel/orange/mint etc salads, braises and stirfries. Have never even thought to make it your way but can’t wait to try!!!!

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    1. Please let me know what you think! I have to try the mint and fennel combination 🙂

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