This vegan roasted fennel recipe is festive and fancy, yet takes only minutes of prep before it roasts in the oven. The perfect healthy and easy side dish!
Think you don't like the taste of fennel? I didn't either, until I started roasting it!
And that's the secret to preparing fennel if you aren't a big fan of its licorice-like taste when eaten raw. I've actually come to love a little raw fennel shaved over salad, but it definitely is more of an acquired taste. Once I realized that its flavor profile completely changes when cooked, that opened up all sorts of possibilities. 🙂
Even though fennel has a pleasant and mild flavor when roasted, I wanted to dress it up with a little extra zing to accompany dishes that involved fish or steak. So, after a little experimentation I landed on an olive oil and Dijon mustard combo with a little sea salt and pepper, and it was perfect.
Pro tip: This recipe can also be made without Dijon mustard if you don't have any on hand; roasted fennel with olive oil is equally delicious!
Benefits of fennel
Fun fact: fennel is actually part of the carrot family, even though it more closely resembles an onion! It also boasts some healthy benefits in the form of nutrients, minerals and macro-nutrients including vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
While the whole fennel plant can be eaten, using just the fennel bulb works best for roasting.
There are just two easy steps in this roasted fennel recipe: trimming/prep, and roasting.
How to cut fennel
Start by trimming the long shoots off of each fennel bulb using a sharp knife. Then, carefully remove any discolored parts of the bulb as well as the tough, fibrous bottom with the knife.
For roasting, I like to cut each fennel bulb into centimeter-thick slices; just make sure the bulb is firmly balanced on a cutting board so that it doesn't slip as you slice through it.
Another slightly safer method is to first slice each bulb right through the middle, and then place both halves cut-side down as you slice centimeter-thick half moon slices across each quarter.
How to cook fennel
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and then coat a large baking sheet or sheet pan with a little olive oil, or line the sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. While the oven is warming, use a fork to whisk together the rest of the oil and mustard in a small measuring glass.
Next, place the sliced fennel into a mixing bowl, add the oil and mustard dressing and use a large spoon to coat all of the surfaces.
And finally, spread the fennel slices out evenly across the baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes or until they are golden brown and the edges are just starting to crisp.
Serve immediately alongside your favorite steak, fish or chicken dish; this recipe goes great with anything!
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Dijon Roasted Fennel
- 2 bulbs fennel
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet or sheet pan with a little olive oil or line with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Wash and trim the fennel bulbs, leaving only the round bulbs and slicing off the tough bottoms. Slice each bulb into 1-centimeter thick slices. In a small measuring glass, use a fork to whisk together the rest of the oil and mustard.
- Dress: Place the sliced fennel into a mixing bowl, add the oil and mustard dressing and use a large spoon to coat all of the surfaces.
- Roast: Spread the fennel slices out evenly across the baking sheet, sprinkle salt and pepper over everything to taste, and roast for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown with crisped edges.
- Enjoy: Serve immediately, and enjoy!