Baked Fennel Recipe

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Like good art or design, we let the raw materials inspire us - harvesting fresh, gathering only what we need, and seeing what we can conjure from it.
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"Growing Beautiful Food" by Matthew Benson is a chronicle of growing food and living sustainably as a transformative experience, with all the joy, folly, work and wonder of it told through evocative words and photographs.
25 min COOK TIME
10 min PREP TIME
4 servings SERVINGS


  • 4 bulbs fennel, trimmed (fronds reserved) and core removed, each bulb cut into 8 wedges

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground

    Black pepper

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

    1 tablespoon anise hyssop petals


    • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    • Grease a large rimmed sheet pan (or a casserole dish large enough to hold the fennel in a single layer).
    • In a bowl, toss the fennel wedges with the oil, salt, and pepper.
    • Arrange the wedges in a single layer on the sheet pan, loosely tilting or shingling the slices if necessary.
    • Drizzle any liquid remaining in the bowl over the fennel.
    • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the fennel is tender.
    • Transfer to a serving platter. Top with the reserved fronds, parsley, and petals.

    Reprinted from Growing Beautiful Food by Matthew Benson. Copyright © 2015 by Matthew Benson. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

    In his new book, Growing Beautiful Food: A Gardener’s Guide to Cultivating Extraordinary Vegetables and Fruit, (Rodale Books, 2015) author and photographer Matthew Benson writes that beauty inspires behavior, and he believes that we can and will eat better, be healthier, and live more sustainably when we grow food that’s visually enticing.

    You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Growing Beautiful Food.

    If you love the licorice-infused flavor of fennel, this dish is a celebration. Topped with fennel’s delicate, feathered fronds and the blue blossoms of anise hyssop, it makes a beautiful show, as well. We grow bronze fennel for its lacy leaves and Florence fennel for its bulb.