So I have been obsessed with roasting fennel lately, because fennel is the most delicious and interesting vegetable.
My favourite recipe so far has been this one, roasted pear and fennel, with bourbon and blue cheese. I think it’s pretty on-trend, what with people loving bourbon these days, and it’s got some great bold flavours.
Plus, you can serve it in a really pretty and minimalist way, which I like too. You could also serve it as a warm salad and have the cheese melt a little! You can place it on a lovely bed of arugula, or you can skip the greens and just do the pear and fennel. Your options here are endless.
Start by slicing your pear and fennel bulb lengthwise into nicely sized wedges. Obviously, you are going to de-seed your pear by scooping out the middle bit. Place these slices on a baking sheet with olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper and a splash of bourbon. Get them all nicely coated and pop them into a preheated oven for 20 minutes (375°) or until golden. Yum!
Now your house smells amazing, so you may as well slice up that cheese. I strongly recommend some form of blue cheese for this, but depending on the one you use, you may crumble it rather than slice it. I used an amazing blue chèvre, with an ash rind, so that was quite special.
Let’s do a quickie vinaigrette to go with the salad. Start with a few splashes of olive oil, with a kick of a great balsamic and maybe a little extra splash of the hooch! (This is a small splash, not a shot. Don’t get dramatic.) Finish with salt and pepper, then whisk.
Now, layer your salad in an attractive way and serve with a drizzle of your bourbon vinaigrette. Those extra pieces of pear and fennel happen to refrigerate nicely for tomorrow’s salad too! But you may want to take it easy on the hooch vinaigrette if you work in an office, lest anyone get any kind of notions about you.