The bulbous part of the base of the fennel stalk is one of the most popular vegetables in Italy and the most commonly prepared winter vegetable.
6 fennel bulbs, cleaned, trimmed, discard the fronds
5 oz. Fontina cheese, sliced into strips
2 oz. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Quarter the fennel bulbs and boil them in salted water for about 10 min. – until tender. Drain. Butter an ovenproof dish and arrange one layer of fennel across the bottom, season with salt and pepper. Scatter a layer of sliced Fontina over the fennel and sprinkle with nutmeg. Dot with half the remaining butter. Cover with a second layer of fennel, season with salt and pepper, and dot with the rest of the butter and the remaining cheese. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 min or until the top is browned and bubbling hot.