1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs Fennel bulbs, (about 3 bulbs) tough, bruised outer leaves discarded, core removed and sliced crosswise (with baby fennel there is no need to remove the core) reserve a few fronds of fennel.
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (approx. 4 ounces)
To taste kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. orange zest
3-4 Tbsp. orange juice (juice from one large orange)
1 ea. star anise, ground to a powder
3 Tbsp. parmigiano-reggiano, finely grated (or any other hard grating cheese)
2 Tbsp. gruyere cheese, grated (substitute Swiss cheese)
Pre-heat the broiler on low setting. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, fennel and onion; season with salt and pepper and sauté until tender; about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the orange zest, orange juice and star anise to taste; cook 4 minutes longer.
Slice the reserved fennel fronds and stir 1 Tbsp into the vegetables; check seasoning.
Transfer vegetables to an ovenproof casserole and sprinkle with the cheese. Broil about 6 inches from the flame until cheese is lightly browned. Serve right from the casserole.
Yield: 4 Servings