As much as I dislike anise, I was surprised to find out how much I loved fennel. Roasted fennel is sweet, mild, and delicious, and does not really resemble the strong, cringe-worthy (at least for me), scent of anise (think black licorice). Roast it with whatever other veggies you might have in the fridge, and you've got yourself a simple, healthy, and mouthwatering side dish!
If you have never seen a fennel bulb before, it's the white bulb-y thing with greenish stalks/hair sticking up in the photo above. It sort of reminds of me an onion in some ways, as it is white and has a lot of layers. This time, I happened to have some zucchini, carrots, and parsnips in the refrigerator. So, inspired by this post, I chopped up all my veggies and tossed them together with some olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. I had some fresh rosemary on hand, so I crushed up the leaves a bit and sprinkled it throughout.
The larger your pieces are, the longer the roasting time. I was in a bit of a rush, so I cut up the vegetables into pretty thin slices (less than 1 cm thick) and roasted the vegetables in a single layer. Roasting in a single layer helps with the browning/caramelization. If the vegetables sit on top of each other, they tend to just steam.
Roast at 425 degrees for 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your vegetables. I would open the oven once during roasting to stir the veggies. This smells really yummy while it's roasting!
Serve and Enjoy!
Note 1: Allison from Local Lemons says you can preheat the oven with the pans inside so they get hot as well. I imagine this would help the charring. I did not do this, but it sounds like a great idea.
Note 2: This recipe is very versatile! Substitute with whatever roasting-type vegetables you might have on hand. I would imagine that eggplant, potatoes, peppers, or squash would be delicious as well!
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