Saturday, May 9, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel

With spring came an unnaturally strong desire to add fennel to everything. We've been buying super sized bulbs of fennel each time we go to the grocery store and following that urge where it takes us. It was only natural to add it to the cauliflower I was making with this meal to add some semblance of starch to a Montignac feast with people who aren't doing our diet.

This was everything I was hoping for. I love cauliflower, fennel and garlic. Roasted and tossed together it was a nice rather simple side dish. Pre-sauting all the veggies was kind of a pain but it did make sure that the texture of everything was perfect and cut down in the time in the oven. I braised leeks in the same pan and slid both dishes in the oven at the same time to took together so it all worked out in a nice rhythm.

Next time I'm in the mood for this I plan on trying to make a faux mashed potato with cauliflower and fennel. I've read about this combination as a low carb potato substitute but my Google-fu was unable to come up with an actual recipe. Seems like removing the herbs from the cooking sheet and tossing it all in the food processor with a dab of butter would be dreamy.

Other recipes from the Riesling Feast:
Almond Soup
Sara's Braised Leeks
Riesling Chicken
Beet Torte

Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel

1 head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
6 tablespoons oil, divided use
1 onion, halved and cut into 3/ 4 inch wide wedges
2 fennel bulbs, halves and cut into 1/ 2 inch wide wedges
8 small garlic cloves, crushed but unpeeled
15 sprigs fresh marjoram

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss cauliflower and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to rimmed baking sheet.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to the same skillet. Add onion wedges and cook until browned on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Using spatula, transfer onions to baking sheet with cauliflower, arranging wedges browned side up.

Add last 2 tablespoons oil to same skillet. Add fennel; sauté until fennel softens slightly and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to same baking sheet.

Scatter garlic and marjoram over vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are caramelized, about 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Original recipe from Recipezaar.

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