This is a birthday recipe for my friend Kyle Eagle, born on the vernal equinox.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cut the tops off the fennel, leaving just the swollen base. Reserve the feathery tops for garnish. Cut each bulb from tip to end into eighths. Each cut should retain a little of the core so the pieces stay together and kind of fan out. Place on an oiled (or silpat-lined) sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on a nice amount of salt & pepper and top each with a generous amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 375°F until tender and amber brown on top, about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved tops. Enjoy by yourself alone, or late at night with someone named Madeline you’ve never been able to forget and who is visiting for the vernal equinox, which just happens to be your birthday.