Warm Fennel-and-Parmesan Dip
A warm golden dip always tempts guests to dig in. This one uses Parmesan cheese to season caramelized fennel and garlic.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch wedges
- 4 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering; add fennel, pressing down so that most of it fits snugly in a single layer. Add garlic to skillet. Brown fennel on 1 side for 4 minutes. Flip, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover skillet with parchment-lined foil, and transfer to oven. Roast until fennel is very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. Puree fennel and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Transfer mixture to a 3-cup baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake until dip is hot in center and cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.