The licorice-y flavor of fennel can split a crowd as quickly as cilantro, marzipan, or Woody Allen.
None seem to nurture a middle ground.
Roasting the bulbs in plenty of olive oil until they are mellow and caramelized, I dare say, could make a lover of even the fiercest hater.
I adore it, in quarters, with roasted oranges and fresh mint. Or, chopped roughly for a dignified addition to my favorite arugula salad. Or, small-diced as a bruschetta topping decorated with its own frilly fronds and a grating of pecorino tartufo.
Welcome to the other side.
Treating this polarizing veggie so nicely may even give you new eyes for those black jelly beans you jilted last Easter.
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Trim the stalks about an inch above the bulbs, picking off and reserving some of the fronds for garnish. Lop the bottom half-inch or so off the roots and then slice the bulbs into quarters.
Toss them with olive oil, cascade with salt and pepper, and then give them their space on a baking sheet.
Roast for 40-50 minutes, flipping them to their other cut surfaces halfway through the process. They're ready to woo you when they are transparent in some spots and curled and crispy in others.