This dish makes a wonderful side for holiday dinners. It's not only delicious & festive but it's quick & easy to make & can be prepared ahead to free your oven up for the main event, that big bird or roast! The original recipe was inspired by Giada di Laurentis but we've added our own spin!
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish (we used Oro Viride evoo)
4 large fennel bulbs, trimmed & cut horizontally into 1/3-inch-thick slices, fronds reserved
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
3 rosemary sprigs (1 left whole, 2 chopped)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish slightly overlapping each one. Sprinkle with the salt, lemon zest, garlic & chopped rosemary. Place the whole rosemary sprig between the 2 rows of fennel. Top with the parmesan cheese & drizzle with the olive oil.
Bake until the fennel is fork-tender & golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel along with the pomegranate seeds.
Can be made ahead & served at room temperature or sprinkled with more parmesan cheese & put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes before serving.