Baked Fennel with Montasio

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Fennel baked in a Béchamel Sauce topped with montasio cheese.
Recipe By: The Mozzarella Company, Texas.
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • Serves 4 - 6

Ingredients

  • Béchamel Sauce:
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups milk, heated
    • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 4 fennel bulbs
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 ounces Montasio, grated (1/2 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

Béchamel Sauce
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the foam begins to subside stir the flour into the butter to make a roux. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the heated milk while stirring constantly. Add the clove of garlic. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove garlic clove. Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside, cover, and keep warm over low heat.

Peel away the distressed outer layer of the fennel bulb, cut off green stems, and discard. Cut fennel bulb vertically into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place a medium size saucepan half full of water over high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Add salt and parboil fennel for 3 minutes. Pour the fennel into a colander to drain. Rinse briefly with cold water to stop the cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 10-inch au gratin pan or an 11 x 7-inch baking pan.

Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Place half of the parboiled fennel in an overlapping layer on top of the sauce. Cover with a thin layer of sauce, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the Montasio, and dot with butter. Repeat with another layer of fennel, sauce, Montasio, and butter. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top.
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