Spring Eats: Roasted Fennel

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Fennel is known in the Ayurveda world as a spring food because of its diuretic properties. It helps to counteract the wetness of spring and aid in toning our tissues after winter. However, the plant is most often grown and harvested between fall and winter.

You’ll most commonly see fennel seeds used for digestive properties, such as chewing on them to reduce gas and bloating after a meal or sipping on fennel tea (or cumin, coriander, fennel tea) to stoke your digestive fire before you eat. For me, aside from eating some things that had been spiced with fennel, I didn’t have much of it until I was an adult. I now attest that it should be integrated into more of our cuisines, especially when it can easily be roasted as you would any other veggie.

The recipe here is the most simplistic recipe for roasted fennel. Roasting is a good cooking option for spring. Though nobody wants to eat a dried out veggie, this approach is more drying than steaming or sautéing. This is contrary to fall or winter where we may want to be retaining more moisture since the seasons themselves are very dry.

If you like this recipe and find it easy enough, you could try adding different herbs and seasonings, such as lemon, garlic or rosemary. I roasted this fennel alongside some other veggies I was tossing into a kitchari dish and topped with garlic lemon tahini. It was divine!

Photo by Suzanne Corum-Rich
Photo by Suzanne Corum-Rich

Roasted Fennel

  • 1 pound of fennel or 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep time: 07 min. | Cook time: 25 min. | Total time: 32 min.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut top off of fennel stalk so that only the bulb remains. Trim the bulb and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices.
  2. Add the fennel, oil and salt + pepper to a medium-sized bowl. If you're using other herbs or a squeeze of lemon, add it now, too. Toss so that the fennel is evenly covered. Place spaced on a baking sheet and put in oven.
  3. About halfway through cooking time, take a peek and turn pieces so they can roast evenly. Remove when they are beginning to brown, which will be between the 20-30 minute mark.

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