Creamy Baked Fennel
Creamy Baked Fennel/ Courtesy Alfred A. Knopf
In the Lombardia region of Italy, fennel cooked slowly in cream is a common accompaniment to steak. It’s not too far off from the Pernod-spiked creamed spinach you might find in old-school steakhouses here in the States. There’s something about this trifecta of flavors—cream, vegetables, and anise-y sweetness—that just makes sense. As the cream cooks down in the oven, it reflects the fennel and herbs back at you, making a warming and rich complement to the meat.