In my organic vegetable box this week I was sent some fennel which I haven’t cooked much with before. I do enjoy fennel seeds in a stew or bean casserole but it was a bit too hot this weekend for that. The other option I thought would be a nice fennel salad, maybe with beetroot or orange but my husband isn’t keen on the strong aniseed/liquorice flavour of fennel.
So, I decided to roast the fennel as I had heard that this softened the flavour slightly giving it a subtle sweetness and making the aniseed much more mild. I paired it with leeks (hubby’s fave) and some cherry tomatoes. All of these vegetables are soft and sweet when roasted and went well together.
Fennel’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart and reproductive health. Fennel also contains Vitamin A, calcium and phosphorus.
These have been around for a while now and I have been meaning to give them a try. What a good way to make the humble potato prettier and more exciting on the tongue. They are like crispy sautéed potatoes on the top whilst the bottom stays more like a mini jacket.
I used quite small potatoes for mine – if you use larger potatoes they make take a little longer to cook. I left them unpeeled for some extra nutrients and flavour. I also swapped the traditional cooking butter for oil so this meal is vegan as well as vegetarian.
A simple Italian dressing adds some saltiness, sharpness and healthy fats to this vegetable dish. By combining roasted garlic, olives, basil, chilli and capers with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic, you create a versatile summer dressing for hot dishes, salads or a simple spaghetti.
If you have a go at this dish let me know 🙂 #preggieveggie
We enjoyed this one out in the garden. It’s hearty yet fresh with all the flavours of Italy and something new with the gentle, sweet aniseed of the fennel. Any leftovers would make a delicious addition to a lunchtime salad.
If Italian is your thing you might also like this Gnocchi With Wild Garlic Pesto, Tomatoes & Kale or this Broccoli With Sundried Tomatoes, Garlic & Pine Nuts.
- Hasselback Potatoes
- 1tbsp light olive oil
- 8 small potatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- Fennel, Leek & Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. light olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 1 leek
- 14 cherry tomatoes (approx.)
- 2 tbsp. chopped black olives (I used Kalamata)
- Small bunch fresh basil (approx. 30g)
- 1 tbsp. capers
- 1 small red chilli (copped and deseeded) or tsp chilli flakes
- 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F
- Wash the potatoes then carefully make small vertical slits, about 3mm apart, three quarters of the way down each potato, all the way along
- Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper then put into the oven with 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
- Leave for about 40 minutes or until golden and cooked all the way through
- Cut the fennel down the middle from top to bottom lengthwise and then into wedges (keep the bulb intact at the end to hold the wedges together)
- Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then horizontally into thirds
- Put the fennel and leek into the oven, lightly drizzled with oil and seasoned
- After about 20 minutes remove the garlic cloves from the potatoes and add the tomatoes to the vegetable pan
- Leave for another 20 minutes or until soft and golden
- Meanwhile make the dressing...
- On a chopping board finely chop the capers, olives, chilli and basil
- Mix in the peeled roasted garlic (from the potatoes) and crush with the flat of a knife
- In a small jar combine this mixture with the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic
- Add a pinch of pepper and salt if needed
- Serve the roasted vegetables alongside the potatoes and drizzle with a little of the Italian dressing
* Nutritional info includes ¼ of the dressing.