Happy Monday to you all! In today’s meatless Monday recipe of oven roasted fennel, potatoes, carrots and onions, we shine the spotlight on fennel. I’ve recently been getting fennel in my CSA packages, and in the most recent newsletter, the farm shared that many members were refusing their fennel shares. This is saddening news. Fennel, often times seems to be the vegetable that is tossed to the side, forgotten in the back of the refrigerator or not picked up at all in the supermarket simply because we either don’t know what to do with it or don’t like its flavor.
Fennel is an aromatic vegetable that has a large bulb base, stems and feathery looking leaves known as fronds. We are more familiar with fennel seeds that are often used as a seasoning for meats and vegetables, however when it comes to using fennel as a vegetable it becomes a challenge.
The fennel bulb can be prepared in so many ways. Once you get it home, remove the stems and the foliage and save them for garnishing your recipes. The bulb can be prepared by removing any thick or brown outer layers, cut and rinsed to remove any dirt and debris. Once cleaned, the bulb can be sliced, diced or chopped and eaten raw, baked, roasted or sautéed. It can be cooked alone or with other vegetables. It can also be used in your homemade stock recipes.
Fennel has a mild anise or licorice type flavor and it smells really great when you start cutting it. Don’t let this deter you if you don’t like the taste of anise or licorice, because once cooked the flavor disappears. If the taste does not bother you, then you can explore raw options such as slicing it up in a salad or in a raw vegetable bowl with a great dressing. The possibilities are endless.
In today’s recipe, I have roasted the fennel bulb with potatoes, carrots, onions and a combination of spices that blend well with the vegetable combination. So let’s begin our recipe. Preheat the oven to 400 °F (204 °C).
In a large baking dish add the chopped fennel, potatoes, carrots and onions. Dress the vegetable mix with seasonings and oil and toss together well to coat the vegetables.
Add a cup of vegetable broth. I used my homemade vegetable broth, but you can also use a good low salt vegetable broth or water. Place in the oven.
At about the half hour mark check on your vegetables to ensure that they have enough liquid (as oven temperatures may vary). Using a spoon move them around a bit so they cook evenly. Add a little liquid if needed.
Place the vegetables back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 to 25 min or until done. Remove from the oven and squeeze the reserved lemon juice over the vegetables and your dish is ready to be served. It can be served with a protein side of your choosing.
- 1 large fennel bulb - chopped with stems and fronds removed
- 5 to 6 small/ medium-sized potatoes - quartered (fingerlings work well also)
- 16 ounce bag of baby carrots
- 1 large onion - cut in rings
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried Rosemary (or a few sprigs of fresh Rosemary)
- 1 teaspoon organic no salt seasoning
- Sea salt - to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Avocado oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth (use a good low salt broth or homemade)
- ½ lemon - squeezed and juice reserved
- In a large baking dish add the chopped fennel, potatoes, carrots and onions. Dress the vegetable mix with oil and seasonings and toss together well to coat the vegetables.
- Add a cup of vegetable broth and place in the oven.
- At about the half hour mark check on your vegetables to ensure that they have enough liquid (as oven temperatures may vary). Using a spoon move them around a bit so they cook evenly. Add a little liquid if needed.
- Place the vegetables back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 to 20 min or until done. Remove from the oven
- Squeeze the reserved lemon juice over the vegetables and your dish is ready to be served.