It is no lie that I love fennel. LOVE IT. When we can find good bulbs, we never skip the opportunity to buy a few and roast them as a yummy side. (Note: Sometimes the words “fennel” and “anise” get used interchangeabley because they have similar flavor profiles, but they are actually two different plants. You might see a bulb labeled as “anise” in the produce section, but this is actually fennel, don’t let them fool you!)
This recipe is so simple, and fennel has such a delicious, rich and buttery flavor – how can you pass it up?
Balsamic Roasted Fennel
Fennel Bulbs (we usually use 2 or 3, and have just a bit left over)
3 Tb EVOO
3 Tb Balsamic Vinegar, or to taste
Fresh Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Salt/Pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 400. Slice the fennel bulbs into rings (ONLY slice the white part of the bulb. Once you start getting close to the green stems, stop cutting) and throw into a baking dish OR on a foiled baking sheet. Coat with EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, then toss. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the fennel is just starting to roast and turn dark brown at the edges. Remove from oven.
Toss again, top with parmesan, and serve!
Sometimes, for a side with more flavor dynamics, we roast the fennel with baby carrots, sliced brussels sprouts, shallots and shiitake mushrooms.
On occasion, for a lazy dinner with some protein, we just add sliced sausage to all of that (but then we don’t use the Balsamic).
Experiment as you will with this – it can be done so many different delicious ways!