HOT? ROOM TEMPERATURE? I served these hot but now note that the inspiring recipe from the ever-reliable Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka, suggests serving it as a side salad, too.
NUTRITION NOTES It takes lots of fat to get vegetables to caramelize while roasting and of course, the more oil and the more caramelization, the more flavor. With less oil, vegetables can dry out before they're fully roasted. It helps to toss the vegetables REALLY well, so they coat with oil -- I use a bowl so I can really toss them, easier than doing it on a flat baking tray. Thought: I could toss the vegetables in a quarter cup of chicken broth, say, before adding the oil but hmm, then the oil wouldn't adhere to the wet vegetables.
There must be some way to keep moisture in AND caramelize using less oil. My goal is to use no more than a tablespoon of oil for a pound of vegetables. Any ideas??? Otherwise, let me work on that.
MAKE IT A MEAL If there's time, I'd start the fennel first, then cook Cornmeal Catfish, perhaps adding fennel to the homemade Cajun spice mix.
WEEKEND HERB BLOGGING This is my contribution to the weekly collection of recipes featuring herbs, plants, vegetables or flowers, hosted this week by Nami-Nami.
~ Fennel Mashed Potatoes ~
~ Fennel, Leek & Mushroom Sauté ~
~ more fennel recipes ~
~ one year ago this week Sautéed Sunchokes with Apple & Pancetta ~
~ two years ago today Roasted Butternut Squash ~
Time to table: 1 1/4 hours
About 2 pounds of fennel bulbs (after trimming, about a pound)
Olive oil to coat - about 3 tablespoons
Salt & Pepper to taste
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Trim the fennel bulbs: slice off roughness on the root end, then the 'arms' and 'fronds'. (Fennel adds great flavor to vegetable stock!) Cut through the core, cutting each bulb into manageable and roughly equivalent sizes, using the core to keep pieces somewhat intact. Starting with maybe a tablespoon of oil, in a bowl, use a scoop spatula to toss the pieces really well -- really turn them over, maybe for a minute, there are lots of crevices to get the oil into, adding more oil only as needed. Transfer onto a rimmed baking sheet and season to taste. Place in oven for an hour. Every 15 minutes, pull the tray out and retoss the pieces; you may want to cut the larger pieces smaller if they're not cooking at the same rate as the others. When fully cooked, remove from oven and toss with lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.
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