David Tanis’s Fennel Al Forno Recipe

Regarding his fennel al forno, David Tanis writes, “Expect raves.” It’s a hearty, comforting recipe that would be a great vegetarian main dish or side dish for Thanksgiving. Before going into the oven, the fennel is blanched, stacked, drizzled with infused olive oil, and topped with shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan.

The somewhat anise-flavored vegetable is in season; search for freshly selected bulbs that are “crisp, fragrant, and aromatic,” not too small, and not too small. Fennel is a pleasant addition to a festive meal, whether it is raw or cooked. The raw, prepared fennel is a wonderful, light bite among the other heavy, rich flavors, according to Tanis. Sliced fennel bulbs should be combined with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil to make “the most divine fennel salad.”

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David Tanis’s Fennel Al Forno Recipe

David Tanis’s Fennel Al Forno Recipe

If served with a ton of sautéed dark leafy greens, this is a great vegetarian main dish. However, you may also serve it at the table with some Italian sausages, roast chicken, or pork loin. Fennel is baked with mozzarella, Parmesan, and bread crumbs after being lightly blanched. Fennel seed, garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and a tiny bit of olive oil enhance the flavor.


1. Oven
2. Knife
3. Cutting Board
4. Large Saucepan
5. Small Bowl
6. Lid or Cover
7. Baking Dish
8. Plate

Recipe Summary

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Cuisine: Italian
Type: Dessert
Yield: 6 servings
Course: Medium
Calories: 191 kcal

Ingredients for Recipe

  • Four medium fennel bulbs, cut, weighing about 2 and 1/2 pounds, with a few fronds set aside for garnish
  • Pepper and salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil in the amount of 3 tablespoons, plus additional for the baking pan
  • In a mortar or spice grinder, pulverize or roughly powder 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds.
  • Using 3 garlic cloves and a little salt, crush them into a paste.
  • 2 teaspoons of entire leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chopped rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces of sliced or shredded fresh mozzarella
  • Using handmade bread crumbs from an Italian or French loaf, measure out 1/4 cup
  • Grated Parmesan, half a cup
  • 2 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley that has been finely chopped, or parsley and fennel fronds combined

Directions for Recipe

  1. The oven temperature is set at 375 degrees. The rough outer coating of the fennel bulbs should be removed.
  2. Slice the fennel into 1/2-inch pieces crosswise.
  3. A large saucepan of salted water should be brought to a boil. Fennel is added, brought to a boil for one minute, and then removed, placed in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking, removed, and patted dry.
  4. Add salt and pepper to the fennel.
  5. Oil a sizable baking dish very lightly. Fennel should be layered in at a depth of 1 1/2 inches (pushing it down if necessary).
  6. Olive oil, chopped rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, and red pepper flakes should all be combined in a small bowl.
  7. 2 tablespoons of this mixture should be drizzled over the fennel.
  8. Add some rosemary leaves on top. Add the bread crumbs after covering them with the mozzarella.
  9. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top after drizzling the remaining oil mixture on top. (The dish can be finished preparing many hours in advance.)
  10. For 20 to 25 minutes, bake the fennel, uncovered, until well browned.
  11. As a garnish, include some chopped parsley.

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FAQs for David Tanis’s Fennel Al Forno Recipe

There are given some important questions and answers about David Tanis’s fennel al forno recipe and its nutritional values. Such as-

What does fennel pair well with?

The fennel pair well with apples, Brussels sprouts, beetroot, celeriac, cucumber, corn, garlic, grapefruit, grape, green bean, kohlrabi, and guava, lemon, olive, mushroom, orange, pear, pomegranate, peach, potatoes, watercress, tomatoes, watermelon.

Is fennel used in Italian cooking?

Both, along with the strong dried fennel seeds, are often used in Italian cooking. They can be added to salads, dusted over fish as a garnish, or used to give cured and cooked meats a smoldering anise flavor.

What does fennel taste like?

Depending on how it is prepared, fennel can have very faint anise or licorice flavor that can be intensified or sweetened (or not cooked). Fennel gets quite delicious when diced and sautéed with onions as one of the first steps when cooking a soup or stew.

What is the best way to use fennel?

The fennel bulb can be braised, sautéed, roasted, or grilled to mellow its flavor. In soups and stews, fennel stalks can replace celery. They can also serve as a “bed” for roasted chicken and other meats. Fennel fronds can be used as a garnish or chopped and used similarly to parsley or dill.

What does fennel taste like cooking?

What Flavor Does Fennel Have? Depending on how it is prepared, fennel can have very faint anise or licorice flavor that can be intensified or sweetened (or not cooked). Fennel gets quite delicious when diced and sautéed with onions as one of the first steps when cooking a soup or stew.

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