Side dish - vegetarian
2 fennel bulbs
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cup milk
2 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
2 tbsp bread crumbs
Nutmeg, salt, pepper (optional)
Cut the fennel bulbs in half and then in segments about 1/4". Wash them carefully and drain them.
In a big, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil and then sautee onions until the become transparent, add fennel and stir; season with salt and pepper, then add 1 cup of milk, lower the heat to low and cook until the fennel slices are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a few tablespoons of water, if needed.
Preheat oven at 375.
Prepare the bechamel: warm up the milk; in a pot big enough put the flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of nutmeg, slowly add the remaining milk whisking to prevent knots. Put the pot on medium/low heat and, always stirring (to prevent sticking on bottom of the pot), bring to boil then remove from heat. Set aside.
Butter an ovenproof casserole, arrange the fennel slices on the bottom (drained from the cooking liquid, that you can use for a risotto) and cover with bechamel; sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs and place on the central rack of the oven.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a golden crust forms on top of your vegetables.
Wait 5 minutes before serving it.
This recipe serves 4.