A simple recipe for delicious roasted fennel with Parmesan. Oven baking mellows the strong licorice taste of this vegetable and brings out wonderful nuttiness and creaminess.
When I made this fennel recipe for the first time, it was because I desperately needed to make something new!
Sometimes you get into a rut, cooking the same things over and over. This sometimes happens to me with vegetables.
Don't get in a vegetable rut!
We used to have a couple of great neighbors. One of them loved vegetables, the other did not.
The vegetable lover complained that whenever her partner was in charge of dinner, he would conveniently "forget" to make a vegetable side dish, making only a main course and a starch. 😳
I don't actually forget to make vegetables (it's hard to forget on a low carb diet when there's no starch on your plate). But I do tend to make the same vegetable recipes over and over.
So when I realized lately that I've been making the same familiar side dishes of sauteed broccolini, spicy green beans and roasted cauliflower for the past two months, I knew it was time to try something new.
Luckily, Ina Garten came to my rescue with her amazing roasted fennel recipe.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
Fennel bulbs: Pick ones with smooth white skin with no brown spots.
Olive oil: My favorite oil. But if you're unsure about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Grated Parmesan: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded.
How to make roasted fennel
It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. You start by slicing the fennel bulbs, then arranging the slices in a baking dish.
2. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss to coat, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°F.
4. Add the Parmesan and toss to coat. Continue baking until tender, about 20 more minutes.
What does roasted fennel taste like?
My family and I really liked this tasty dish. It's truly delicious. I suggest that even if you don't particularly like the taste of licorice, give this recipe a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Oven-baking caramelizes the fennel bulbs. It downplays the licorice flavor and brings out a nutty, delicious creaminess.
The addition of Parmesan makes this it extra delicious. Though it's also excellent with no cheese if you're so inclined.
How to serve it?
You can serve roasted fennel with any main dish you would normally serve with a starchy side such as roasted potatoes. In other words, this is a side dish that goes with anything!
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave on 50% power. They're not as good as when served fresh, but they are still pretty good!
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- 2 large fennel bulbs, about 1 lb.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the stems of the fennel. Rinse and dry the bulbs. Slice each bulb in half lengthwise. With the cut side down, slice the bulb vertically into ½-inch-thick slices, leaving the core intact.
- Arrange the fennel slices in a 13 X 9 -inch baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and use your hands to coat the fennel pieces with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the Parmesan and toss to coat. Return to the oven and bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 20 more minutes.