Fennel is such an interesting vegetable. It has a pale bulb and long green stalks. Fennel can be grown almost anywhere. It has a licorice-like flavor and is a vegetable that you can use each and every part of. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible! Fennel has been used in natural remedies since ancient times as it’s nutrients are linked to a range of health benefits. In addition to it’s long list of nutrients, it also provides high levels of dietary nitrates and is a natural source of estrogen.
Like most root vegetables, if you roast fennel until it caramelizes, it becomes sweet, luscious and absolutely irresistable! Since you can use every part of this vegetable, it is showcased here in this simple fish dish using the bulb, seeds and fronds. You don’t even need to throw away the stalks that we aren’t using because they are great to throw into your homemade stock! Just freeze them and any other vegetable scraps you have in a freezer bag and save for your “making stock” day.
Orange and fennel are great partners. The sweet acidity of orange plays very well with the licorice-like taste of fennel. They are paired together in a simple marinade for the fish in this recipe. Easily served with any side dish of your choosing, this recipe comes together in under an hour. An easy week night dinner!
- 2 small fennel bulbs with fronds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 pound cod, cut into 2 pieces
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Cut the tops of the fennel bulbs. Chop some of the leafy fronds and save some wispy leafs for garnish. Halve and core the bulb and cut into thin wedges. Place the fennel wedges on a small sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Toss to coat and roast for 20-30 minutes. About half way through, stir the fennel to roast evenly. Cook until lightly browned and tender.
- While the fennel is roasting, place the orange juice, zest, fennel seeds, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a glass dish and stir to mix. Add the cod and marinate until the fennel is done roasting.
- Remove the pan from the oven and top the fennel with the cod and it’s marinade. Roast until the cod is just done, about 10 minutes for 3/4 inch fillets. It is best to cook it slightly underdone, than to over cook so it does not get dry.
- Plate the fennel on two dishes and top with the cod and it’s marinade. Sprinkle chopped fronds and frond garnish.
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