Monday, December 21, 2009

Roasted fennel, russet and garlic

In the produce section at my neighborhood grocery, a mountain of organic russet potatoes was crowned by a sale sign staked at its' summit like a flag planted by Ed Viesturs on his latest summit. I stood there imagining what I could do with these large spuds each weighing about a pound. On a cold, rainy day, I decided I wanted the belly-filling goodness of roasted vegetables, so I threw together three of my favorites: fennel, potatoes and garlic.

Here's what I used for the dish:

1 large organic russet potato
1 organic fennel bulb (about 1 lb.)
1 head of organic garlic
1/4 tsp. Secret Stash Sea Salt Lavender Rosemary Salt

Note: Use at least one head of garlic. You could roast the head whole but I separated the cloves and used only the largest ones.

For each serving, whisk together 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar.

Serves 2 as a side dish to meat, fish or with rice, beans or couscous.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a roasting pan. Slice the potato lengthwise and place cut side down in the center of the roasting pan. Cut the green stalks off the fennel bulb, then cut the bulb into quarters. Place the quarters cut side down around the potato and drizzle extra virgin olive on them. Separate the garlic into individual cloves and place the largest cloves around the potato. Do not peel the garlic. Place the roasting pan into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the fennel quarters will have carmelized on one side. Turn the carmelized side up so that the other side faces down. Check the potato for tenderness. I reset the timer for an additional 15 minutes. After 45 minutes, the potato was easily pierced and the fennel quarters had gorgeous color on both sides. Let cool.

Cut the potato into bite-size chunks and slice thin the fennel quarters into slivers. Remove the garlic cloves from their skins. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Toss together with vinaigrette. Finish with lavender rosemary salt.

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