Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the fennel bulb strips, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 3 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and lemon peel, cover and let steep for 3 minutes; strain into a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Stir in the cooked fennel bulb strips and 1/4 cup parmesan. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup parmesan and bake until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the fennel fronds.