6 Florence fennel bulbs (3 male, 3 female), cleaned, trimmed and cut into wedges
2 large eggs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g dried fine breadcrumbs
40g unsalted butter
45ml olive oil
freshly grated parmesan (optional)

In Piedmont, vegetables such as fennel, artichokes, celery and the white stalks of Swiss chard are often coated in egg and breadcrumbs and fried in butter. I like fennel best.


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1.Cook the fennel in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes.
2.Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
3.Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
4.Tip the breadcrumbs into another shallow bowl.
5.Dip the fennel wedges in the egg, then coat with breadcrumbs, patting so that the crumbs adhere firmly to each piece.
6.Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan and fry the fennel until the crumbs are golden brown on all sides.
7.Drain on paper towels and serve with a sprinkling of grated parmesan, if desired.

Cucina di Amalfi
by Ursula Ferrigno,
published by Ryland
Peters & Small,
photography by Nassima
Rothacker, distributed by, $49.99.