Roasted Fennel and Onions with Parmesan 

The only time I'd ever had fennel was in a salad, so I decided to do like the Italians do and roast it.  Fennel bulbs look like large, white onions attached to celery-like stalks with wispy, dill-like greens.  The taste is a little like celery and anise combined.  It has an ancient history with Romans.  They believed chewing it would control obesity.  In medieval times, it was considered a sacred herb and they would hang it from the rafters for good luck.  When it came to early America, Puritans would chew on it during church meetings to stay awake.  It's an excellent source of vitamin C and has lots of fiber, too.


 2 large fennel bulbs
 2 sweet onions (like Vidalia)
 Salt and pepper
 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

      The Recipe

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Trim stalks from fennel bulb and remove any tough, outer leaves.  Save a handful of the feathery greens.  Slice in half right through the core and remove some of the core.  Cut into slices, about 1/3" thick.  Trim and slice onions the same way.  Arrange fennel and onions in roasting pan and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Drizzle with about 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Roast, uncovered 1 hour or until tender and lightly browned. Chop greens and sprinkle over the top before serving. 
Serves 6.



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