Friday, November 12, 2010

Roasted Fennel and Apples

Fennel and Apples are such a classic combination. When you cut into a fennel bulb, the scent of anise hits you. When eaten raw in a salad it has an unmistakable crisp flavor but when roasted it becomes sweet as the anise flavor mellows out. We all know what apples taste like, and most people think of cooked apples as dessert but they have a great savory quality to them as well. Roasted together with some great herbs it makes the perfect side dish for any kind of pork dish.

What You Need:

1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs
3-4 large apples
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
veg oil

What To Do:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with a sheet pan left  in the oven to preheat as well.
Cut the apples into quarters and remove the seeds. Cut each quarter into half so that you get a total of eight pieces out of each apple.
Cut off the tops of the fennel (of the fennel fronds) and discard. Thinly slice the bottom off of each bulb to remove the dry end. Then cut each of the bulbs into quarters and remove the small core at the bottom. Finish slicing the fennel so that it's roughly the same size as the apples. Combine them together in a large bowl some veg oil, a big pinch of salt, some pepper and the rest of the herbs and garlic powder.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and drizzle just just a touch of veg oil. CAREFULLY dump your bowl of apples and fennel onto the sheet pan and spread out into a single layer. Preheating the pan lets them start to cook and crisp as soon as they're in the oven. Roast for about 35-45 minutes or until golden. Serve along side pork chops or a pork roast for the perfect meal.

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