Oh yummy yummy, I bought a fennel bulb this week at the farmer's market. Back in the days when my Grandma (who is now 99!) still cooked for all our family holidays, she always had finocchio, as she called it, on the table between courses. It's considered to be a digestive. So basically it helped settle your stomach so you could eat even more!
If you've never had fresh fennel you are missing out! It has the feel kind of like a celery, but it's so much more flavorful. It has a licorice flavor raw and is a wonderful addition to salads, or on it's own. But I love it even more roasted.
Just cut off the top and save the fronds if you wish, for garnishes or a nice addition to salads. Slice the fennel and put into a baking dish, drizzle with some olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and some of the chopped fronds.
Roast at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. It should be slightly caramelized. It's a wonderful side dish to just about anything. If you don't like a licorice flavor then you will probably like it cooked. Mmm... fennel.