Chefs' Recipes

Fennel cooked in milk

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for fennel cooked in milk from Cafe di Stasio in Melbourne.

  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus sitting
  • Serves 4
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Fennel cooked in milk
"The fennel baked in milk with toasted breadcrumbs at Melbourne's Café di Stasio is so good. Would you please ask the chef for the recipe?"
Christine Ridgway, Nunawading, Vic
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email Please include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 4 fennel bulbs (about 350gm each), cut into 5mm slices
  • 600 ml pouring cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sage sprigs
  • 50 gm parmesan, finely grated
  • 60 gm fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • 1
    Heat 20ml oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add fennel in batches, season to taste, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden (6-8 minutes).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Bring cream, garlic and sage to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel, return to the simmer, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a 2.5-litre baking dish. Pour over enough cream to fill three-quarters of the dish. Scatter with two-thirds of the parmesan and bake until tender (30-35 minutes).
  • 3
    Preheat grill to high heat. Combine remaining oil and parmesan with breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon juice in a small bowl. Scatter breadcrumbs over fennel and grill until golden (6-7 minutes). Stand for 5 minutes and serve hot.