Crispy Baked Baby Fennel
This crispy fennel dish makes an ideal bar snack. The delicate flavor of the fennel is complemented by a hint of balsamic vinegar for a lovely, addictive munch.
This dish came about by happy accident. During my early years in Johannesburg, I experimented a lot with fennel. It was a new vegetable to me, and I was eager to get to know it.
So, I had a lot of fun trying different flavors and combinations. Once, I even made an entire meal with fennel in every course — including dessert. Due to its naturally sweet, anise-like flavor, fennel works particularly well in desserts.
On an unusually busy weeknight, I was supposed to be braising fennel in the oven. However, I cut the fennel too fine and left it in for too long. By the time I pulled my lovely side dish out of the oven, it was anything but braised!
However, it was crispy and smelled appealing — despite its dark brown color. So, I couldn’t resist taking a bite. It was delicious! With a few tweaks, my side dish became a rather addictive snack.
This crispy fennel is a great alternative to chips or fries. It satisfies the craving for salt and crunch, and makes a lovely happy hour nibble. Plus, being made with fennel — rather than flour or potatoes — it is practically guilt-free.