Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you excited? I am! It’s my favorite holiday.
Why do we stick with ho-hum and hum drum? Wanna try something new? (Don’t get me wrong, I really, really, really like the Thanksgiving staple but trying something new never hurts.) This. This is what you want to try. Roasted fennel.
I love fennel. It smells divine. People describe it as having licorice scent, but to compare it to what I first think of when I hear licorice doesn’t do it justice. (It doesn’t smell like Twizzlers or Red Vines.) If I could hang a bulb of fennel beneath my nose to smell during the day, I just might do that. Nobody would notice, right? It is so aromatic. A little sharp, a little sweet and yes, like black licorice.
Roasting fennel is awesome. It intensifies the flavor and sweetness. It’s pretty easy and makes for a new and exciting side dish.
Look for fennel that looks full and not dry. If it still has its stem and fronds, look for those to be fairly perky and not wet and soggy looking.
If the outside looks a bit fibrous, you may want to discard the outer layer. Then cut the bulbs into slices about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. You can cut up onto the stems. The leafy fronds will mostly just burn, but I actually kind of like them too.
Spread the fennel out on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive olive and sprinkle with kosher salt. Toss to make sure all the fennel is coated.
Then squeeze a nice big lemon over you slices and give them another toss.
Spread the fennel out into one layer.
Then roast for about 20-30 minutes at 350. You want the edges to start to be a bit brown. But you don’t want it to go until it is dried out.
Discard any bits, that look dried out or tough. The very best part is the bottom of the bulb. But don’t tell, so you can eat that part!