Recipe: Balsamic roasted fennel with cashew nuts
How many of you ignore the funny looking fennel bulbs at the markets because you’re not too sure what to do with them? I did once upon a time. Most of the time you will find fennel bulbs, also known as Florence fennel, served raw in salads. It has a licorice, aniseed like flavour, sweet aroma and lots of crunch. The green fronds are often used in dressings, marinades or in salads as well.
Another great way of using fennel is to roast it. Using Balsamic and olive oil adds beautiful caramelisation to the roasted fennel and the acidity of the vinegar compliments the sweetness of the vegetable. Roasted cashews is a new addition I tried the other day and it worked really well but feel free to go without. I usually make this as a side with a roast or grilled meat or fish.
- 2 Fennel bulbs
- 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2/3 tsp sea salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup roasted crushed cashew nuts
- Heat oven to 190C.
- To prepare fennel, cut off the stalks and fronds. Using a peeler, slice off a thing outer layer and cut 1cm from the base. Slice into thick chunks. Toss fennel with Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and spread in a large roasting tray or dish. Pick a tray with large surface so you have most of the fennel in one layer.
- I usually place the baking tray on the floor of the oven so you get a lot of heat to caramelise the sauce. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning over a few times to prevent burning.
- Toast/roast cashew nuts in the oven or in a frying pan until golden brown and fragrant. Process into crumbly texture using a food processor or using the old-school ‘smash the bag’ method where you place the nuts in a plastic bag and smash them using a wooden rolling pin.
- Serve fennel with nuts sprinkled over.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Number of servings: 4