Braised Fennel with Orange & Parmigiano-Reggiano

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 Braised Fennel with Orange & Parmigiano-Reggiano

Yield: 4-6 Servings

1 Tbsp Olive oil

3 each Fennel bulbs, (about 1-1/2lbs) tough, bruised outer leaves discarded, cut in fourths, partially remove core. Reserve a few fronds of fennel.

1 small Red onion, thinly sliced

To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup Orange juice (juice from two large oranges)

2 tsp Orange zest

1 cup Vegetable broth

1-2 each Star anise, ground to a powder

3 Tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (or any other hard grating cheese)

¼ cup Pinenuts, toasted

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, fennel and onion; season with salt and pepper and brown slightly; about 5 minutes. Add the orange juice, zest, broth and star anise to taste. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes longer until fennel is fork-tender.

Remove the fennel from the pan and place on a platter. Turn the heat back up to high and reduce the liquid down to a syrup. Return the fennel to the pan and toss to coat. Check seasoning.

Arrange the fennel on a serving platter. With a rubber spatula scrape any remaining sauce over the fennel. Sprinkle with the cheese, pine nuts and reserved fennel fronds.