Roasted Fennel

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Fennel is a wonderfully versatile vegetable. It resembles a peeled onion bulb that someone has pressed between their hands so it’s no longer round, with a green celery-like stalk and dill-ish fronds. It has the cool crunch of celery with a strong note of licorice when you take a bite. It is lovely sliced thin and served with Parmesan in a salad, luscious and filling in a cheesy gratin, and absolutely delicious roasted.

Roasted, fennel caramelizes at the edges and loses its crunch. The licorice notes that were so discernible when the fennel was raw leave only a hint when roasted. Even people who run from anything licorice-ish (like my father) easily enjoy fennel when it is warm and roasted.

This simple dish of fennel roasted with olive oil and balsamic vinegar would be perfect with roast chicken, fish, or seafood.

Roasted Fennel Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

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  • 2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise in 1-inch thick wedges
  • 2 Tbsp (or more) of Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (or more) balsamic vinegar

 

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Place the fennel wedges in a bowl and toss them with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, just enough to coat them. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, again just enough to coat.

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2 Line a roasting pan or baking dish Silpat or aluminum foil brushed with olive oil.  Arrange the fennel wedges on the pan and roast them for 40 minutes or until the fennel wedges are cooked through and beginning to caramelize at the edges.

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Links:

Ven'll You Roast Fennel? - Adam Roberts, the Amateur Gourmet, tries out a Barefoot Contessa recipe for roasted fennel

Oven roasted fennel and tomato soup from Lucullian Delights

Roasted fennel, chilli, and sweet potato salad from the Culinary Chase

Gratin of fennel and tomato from The Wednesday Chef

Roasted potatoes and fennel from CookThink

Roasted Fennel

Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Lynne

    Thanks for hints it’s the first time I’ve cooked fennel too It smells more like aniseed than liquorice to me

  • Heather

    Roasted fennel is my absolutely most favourite thing. All I do is toss w/ olive oil and salt and roast at 400 until caramelized and soft. It doesn’t usually make it from the pan to my plate!

  • Sue Sleight

    Actually I would like to say I really liked the recipe for roasting Fennel in this way and intend to try it today.
    I also have a question as to whether it could be battled and preserved in oil after it has cooled. Thanks in advance

  • Pauline

    Like many of the commenters, I had never prepared fennel prior to this. I didn’t have any balsamic vinegar, so I used some Italian salad dressing mixed with the EVOO & brushed it on with a touch of sugar. I roasted it for 40 minutes… Adding some Italian bread crumbs & Parmesan cheese in the last 15 minutes. The verdict? It was really good! Thanks for the insight!

  • Mitchell Webster

    This is my first time trying fennel, it was in my CSA box and thought this is as good a time as any to try it.
    Too much of the time we are influenced by others on produce we have never eaten before, for fennel it was I hate licorice and there for don’t want it with my food. however upon slicing the fennel I found the aroma to be more spicy kind of like smelling lemony, gingery, with a hint of licorice, mine are in the oven right now. I am looking forward to trying it more ways. Thanks Elise for a wonderful blog and post.

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