Roasted Fennel Recipe

Fennel is one of those vegetables that a lot of people aren't too sure about, and raw in salads it can be a bit of a punch in the taste buds, but roast it and it becomes sublime.  The aniseed flavour is reduced to a hint, it's rich and caramel-ly, and with the addition of olive and tomato flavours it becomes a delicious feast.

Serve this as a vegetable side dish, chop it up a bit more to make a pasta sauce, or serve it as a delicious autumnal lunch for two with crusty bread and a crisp pear and cheese salad.  It's brilliant as a baby and toddler early food too, ours have all wolfed it down!  This dish also accompanies the vegetarian Mediterranean flan recipe perfectly.

Roasted Fennel

Serves 4 as a side dish or pasta sauce, 2 as a main


2 bulbs of fennel
20 cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
a large handful of olives in oil, pitted (we use fresh or from a jar, if they are good quality)
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
2 or 3 sticks of fresh thyme
Extra virgin olive oil, or oil from your olives or sun-dried tomatoes jar
250ml full-bodied Chardonnay or similar


1. Remove the fennel tops and slice finely.  Cut the fennel bulbs into quarters, and cook in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes.

2. Place the fennel in a roasting dish and top with the tomatoes, garlic, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and shake to coat everything.

3. Add the wine and dot a few small knobs of butter across the dish.

4. Bake at 220C for 30-40 minutes.  Cover with foil if the fennel is browning too fast but not cooking through.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

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