Carrots and fennel with harissa (#37)

This is one of those rare occasions where I’ve sacrificed having a hearty meal just to try test a side dish for you. Well, not quite. I promptly ate this and then went on to eat something more substantial in addition to enough sides for 4 people.

Now, if you have a relatively plain piece of meat, preferably one that can easily have a slight Lavantine edge to it, then I’d serve these with it. Or, if you’re actually organised, maybe as a side to a tagine… I bet that got you thinking, didn’t it?

Please see reflections for my opinions on fennel (not something I thought I’d ever write). But this really is a way to make your vegetables the belle de plat.

Thanks again to Nigella’s wonderful new book, At My Table.

Good things: warming and exciting

Bad things: is fennel everyone’s cup of tea?

Ingredients & requirements: sides for 4-6 people

  • 500g carrots
  • 500g fennel
  • 2 tablespoons of harissa
  • 2 tablesppons of olive oil
  • 1 satsuma (using zest and 2 tablespoons of juice)
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes

Preparation & cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C (Fan)
  2. Prepare the veg:
    1. peel the 500g of carrots and cut them into batons
    2. trim the 500g of fennel and then halve (height-wise?). Cut into slices to match your batons
  3. Place the carrots & fennel in a large bowl. Add the below and mix together:
    1. 2 tablespoons of harissa
    2. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    3. 1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes
    4. grate in the zest of 1 satsuma
    5. then cut ooen the satusma and add 2 tablespoons of satsuma juice
  4. Spread in a shallow roasting tin, and cook for 40-50 mins. Maybe give it a stir just over halfway through. Then serve as you wish.

Reflections:

Let’s get the unpleasantries over with. Very rarely am I attracted to fennel. There’s something in my brain which seems to always remember it never quite tasting pleasant or pleasing.

However, that being said, the result here is great. My brain probably won’t think so next time I encounter a bulb of fennel, but it was.

I haven’t yet, but I’m quite interested in trying this out with some other root vegetables. Hoping for a slightly easier ride, I feel that carrots and parsnips cooked this way might be equally enjoyable while also widening the face value appeal of the dish.

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