Fancy Fennel

Fancy Fennel

Every weekend my hubby and I go to our local fresh food market, The Swansea Street Markets for all our fruit and veg.  We got tired of the sad produce available in the major supermarkets – it’s always a bit limp or too small for too large a price tag.  A lot of the time, the fruit and veg is imported which seems just wrong when it is perfectly simple to just have what is in season, and, preferably locally grown.  Lemons from California (when you live in Western Australia) for $1.00 each?  I don’t think so!

So anyway, we always try and get a large quantity of lovely fruit and veg which is easy enough for us, being vegetarians.  Roderick also benefits – my hubby often says it seems like the majority of produce in our basket is for the “pig” – and we can get inspired to cook lots of lovely new, tasty dishes.

This weekend we added a bulb of fennel (or aniseed, if you like) to our basket.  I’d seen it roasted before and have had it in salads but had never cooked it before myself.  So we decided to have some yummy caramelised fennel with our salad last night.  Here’s what I did (please excuse not so fancy or pretty pictures – my mind was not on the job and I almost forgot to photograph the fennel bulb at all as you can probably tell from the “reconstructed” specimen below…):

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

Take one bulb of fennel –

Remove the outer layer and stalks.  Reserve feathery fennel leaves for garnish (or give them to your grateful guinea pig – you know which option I chose).  Rinse under running water to get rid of any gritty bits.  Cut bulb into 6-8 wedges (depending on size).

Toss wedges in olive oil, salt and garlic.  Put into an overproof dish.  I lined my baking pan with baking paper for easy cleanup.

Bake in the oven for approx 30-40 mins.  Keep an eye on it and turn when necessary.  My oven is pretty cruddy so if yours is top-notch the cooking time may be less.  In the meantime make up a salad or whatever you’re having for dinner…

Fennel should go nice and caramelised and golden.  Cook more or less as necessary and depending on the quality of your oven!

Very Yummy. I’m not a big fan of liquorice/aniseed flavours, but the baking really mellowed the fennel out and made it sweet and delicious. Give it a try! Just take better photos than I did 🙂

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