Roasted fennel wedges gussied up with a super-simple roasted red pepper-horseradish sauce: A crunchy, bright, and hearty veggie dish that just earned its spot in your weekly meal rotation.If you’re not yet a fan of this licorice-flavored member of the parsley family, this recipe is about to change your mind. Not only does fennel pack a serious flavor punch, but it’s rich in nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C.
Roasting brings out fennel’s sweet side and mellows its licorice notes, while transforming the texture from crunchy to meltingly tender. Just be sure to peel away the outermost layer from the fennel bulb; it’s tough and fibrous and not conducive to the stellar side dish you’re about to prepare.Now let’s talk sauce. QUICK, EASY, FAIL-PROOF SAUCE.
What’s the secret? Jarred roasted red peppers. These are one of my pantry staples and clutch for building flavorful sauces with minimal effort. Doctor them up with fresh lemon juice, a dash of horseradish for some low-grade heat (game-changer), garlic, and olive oil and you have a flavorful sauce that’s great for spooning over just about any roasted veggie or protein. If you’re not a fan of the taste of horseradish, though it’s quite subtle here, you could swap it out for a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. However if you do enjoy the taste, this recipe leaves plenty of room to increase the amount based on your heat preference.
Pair this simple, beautiful side with baked fish or roasted chicken and you’re set for both low-key weeknights or weekend entertaining.
Roasted Fennel with Red Pepper-Horseradish Sauce
- 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers drained
- 3 Tbsp. slivered almonds plus more for serving
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt divided
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper divided
- 2 medium fennel bulbs with stalks fronds reserved
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Combine roasted red peppers, almonds, 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, horseradish, and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and black pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Cut fennel bulbs into 1-inch-thick wedges. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high. Add fennel and season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Cook fennel wedges 5 minutes per side, until golden. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until tender, turning once halfway through, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer fennel to a serving platter. Spoon roasted pepper-horseradish sauce overtop. Garnish with additional slivered almonds and reserved fennel fronds.