Side dishes really round out a meal—they add flavor, color, and texture to a simple main. And when you plan well, you can pop a savory side into the oven to roast while you work on the rest of dinner. Or go do something else entirely! Loaded with deep flavor, this roasted vegetable dish also includes a bright note from the fresh fennel fronds and lemon. It’s a well-rounded all star!
<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Fantastic Fennel</p></h4>
Fennel’s slight licorice flavor isn’t for everyone, but it’s so versatile it’s worth giving a try! You can roast it or eat it raw, enjoy the fronds and bulb, and even eat the seeds. Ancient healers used fennel to aid digestion. Today, it still soothes the tummy and prevents indigestion. Fennel is high in selenium—an important micronutrient that supports liver function and may help detoxify the body. Selenium also shows promise in helping fight infections and inhibit tumor growth.
<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">The Big Cheese</p></h4>
Parmesan’s slightly sharper cousin, Pecorino Romano cheese is a wonderfully salty, savory addition to your next meal. It’s ideal for grating or shaving and stands up to big, bold flavors. Made from sheep’s milk, it contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Amazingly, Pecorino has up to 5 times more CLA than more common cow’s milk cheeses like Parmesan! That means it’s even better for your heart health. Plus, CLA studies show it helps reduce body fat, prevent diabetes, improve muscle tone, and stimulate the immune system.
<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Roasted Fennel with Pecorino</p></h4>
<h5>Prep Time: 10 mins | Cooking Time: 40 mins| Serves: 4</h5>
<h5><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Ingredients:</p></h5>
* 2 fennel bulbs
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* ½ teaspoon salt
* ½ teaspoon black pepper
* 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest, divided
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved
* 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
<h5><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Instructions:</p></h5>
1. Preheat the oven to 375⁰F.
2. Cut the top green fronds off the fennel bulbs and reserve.
3. Cut each fennel bulb in half vertically (through the root end) and trim off the root. Slice bulb and stalks into quarter-inch-thick slices.
4. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, toss the fennel with olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and lemon juice to coat. Spread the fennel out in a single layer in the baking dish.
5. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender and slightly golden around the edges.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. Turn the oven to broil.
7. Return the fennel to the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes, or just until the cheese is bubbly.
8. While the fennel is roasting, finely chop the reserved fennel fronds. In a small bowl, mix fennel fronds, remaining ½ teaspoon lemon zest, and chives.
9. Sprinkle the roasted fennel with the herb mixture and serve.