Garlic Fennel Wedges
Fennel has a strong, sweet anise flavor that pairs well with the assertive character of garlic. Because fennel can dry out easily during roasting, here it is drizzled with a little broth or wine to keep it moist while the edges caramelize. Thyme or oregano may be substituted for the marjoram. Serve this simple side dish with roasted pork or veal.
- 1 or 2 fennel bulbs, about 1 lb.
- 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. reduced-sodium chicken broth or white wine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh marjoram, plus sprigs for garnish
Preheat an oven to 375°F.
Trim off the stems from the fennel bulb and reserve a few fronds for garnish. Trim away any bruised or tough outer layers. Cut the fennel bulb lengthwise into wedges 1 inch wide, then cut out the hard core portions. Combine the fennel and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and broth, and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Spread the fennel wedges out in a single layer.
Roast the fennel, stirring 1 or 2 times, for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the fennel evenly with the chopped marjoram. Continue to roast until the fennel and garlic are tender when pressed with a fork and browned at the edges, 25 to 30 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the fennel to a warmed serving bowl. Garnish with marjoram sprigs and fennel fronds and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Roasting, by Rick Rodgers, Melanie Barnard & Bob & Colleen Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2004).