A simple and delicious summer side dish, roasted fennel goes brilliantly with many different dishes. Ready in under half an hour you’ll love this easy baked fennel dish. Suitable for vegans.
When I was a kid I really wasn’t keen on the aniseed taste of fennel.
But as I’ve grown older I’ve come to really love it. Fennel is now one of my favourite veggies.
And while it has a place in many a delicious summer salad, roasting fennel is a delicious way to eat it.
When sliced it doesn’t take long to make at all so you can get this simple side dish on the table in under half an hour.
What is fennel?
Fennel is a vegetable that is part of the carrot family. There are two types - one a herb with feathery leaves that is used for its leaves and seeds.
The other, sometimes called Florentine fennel, is the one we are using here.
It has a large greenish-white bulb with feathery fronds (leaves) on top. Unless you’ve grown your own, or you get yours from an organic veg scheme, you’ll probably find that the leaves have already been cut off your fennel bulbs.
What does fennel taste like?
Fennel has a distinctive aniseed, or liquorice, taste. However, if you don’t like Liquorice Allsorts, don’t let that put you off. Fennel has a delicious crisp freshness that is very enjoyable.
When roasting it keeps this flavour but mellows it. Therefore it’s a great way to try fennel for the first time if you’re unsure about whether you’ll like it or not.
When is fennel in season?
Fennel is in season here in the UK between roughly June and October.
What to serve with roasted fennel
Roasting fennel and squeezing over a little lemon juice makes a delicious side dish. But what should you serve with it?
Traditionally fennel is often paired with fish. However, as a vegan I prefer to eat mine alongside other vegetable dishes such as:
How to cut fennel
- After giving your fennel a wash, trim the heads off and discard the outer layer.
- This can be reserved and added to soup or vegetable stock - slice thinly and freeze if you don’t want to use it straight away. You can also reserve the fennel fronds if you like - chop them finely and add to salads or sprinkle over your finished dish.
3. Cut your fennel bulb into quarters. Cut out the core and discard. If your fennel is very young you may not need to do this.
4. Slice thinly and proceed with the recipe below.
How to roast fennel
- Once you’ve sliced your fennel (as above), simply place in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Roast in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, turning over halfway.
- Once cooked squeeze over lemon juice before serving.
Full recipe and instructions for how to make roasted fennel below.
More fennel recipes
- Fennel and orange salad with pecans
- Veggie paella
- Fennel soup with peas and lemon
- Romanesco, chickpea and fennel linguine
If you like this you might find my guide to July's seasonal vegetables useful.
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How to make roasted fennel with lemon
Roasted fennel with lemon
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Cut the fennel into quarters and trim off the hard core. Discard the outer leaves if they have become tough.
- Thinly slice your fennel and place in a roasting tin. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix well.
- Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway, until slightly caramelised and golden brown.
- Squeeze over lemon juice before serving. Serve immediately.
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