Sweet Fennel with Lemon and Shaved Parmigiano
My friend Skip Lombardi shared this simple but delicious snack with me. It typifies the essence of his beloved Italian cuisine: Use the best ingredients without overcomplicating them.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4
- 2 bulbs fresh fennel
- ½ fresh lemon
- 1 wedge (at least 4 inches long) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or Asiago cheese
- 1 tablespoon very high quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt
Trim the stems and hairlike fronds from the fennel tops. Break the bulbs apart, layer by layer, using your hands to make long, bite-size pieces. Discard the core. Arrange the pieces pyramid-shape onto a small, attractive serving plate.
Squeeze the lemon over the fennel.
Using a peeler, shave curls of cheese over the fennel, allowing them to fall where they may; make about 10 curls.
Drizzle the olive oil over the plate, and sprinkle with salt. Serve at room temperature.
To avoid salty patches in some parts of your food and bland, unseasoned patches on other parts, take a cue from pro chefs: Season from a great height. Most chefs pinch salt between their thumb and forefinger and sprinkle it down onto food from a great height, more than a foot above the item being seasoned. It tends to shower broadly over the food this way, covering evenly.