Citarella’s Roasted Fennel
Cooked fennel, with its slight anise flavor, is a classic side to seafood and fish, like Sautéed Wild Striped Bass Fillets (page TK). Searing the bulbs on the stovetop after baking them gives them a slight golden caramelization, making them even more deliciously sweet.
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Slice the fennel bulbs lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush the slices lightly on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the fennel for 30 minutes, or until it is fork-tender.
When the fennel is finished cooking, heat a large sauté pan on the stovetop over medium-high. When the pan is hot (you can test it with a drop of water; if it sizzles it’s ready), sear the fennel for 2 minutes per side, or until the slices turn golden brown. Serve immediately. (It also tastes great at room temperature.)