Oven Roasted Baby Carrots and Fennel

Fall has been slow to arrive in Virginia this year, the trees remaining cloaked in deep hues of green until late last week, when hints of gold and rust began to appear. It was as if the season had finally started to wake up from its long, summer slumber, drowsily fading in a little more with each passing day, and bringing with it, cooler temperatures, and the anticipation of evenings in front of the fireplace, the aroma of roasted vegetables and fruit crisp wafting through the house.

Oven roasting is one of the easiest methods for preparing root vegetables.  I’ve seen many recipes that call for maple or honey, but I prefer to highlight the subtle sweetness of the carrots and the fennel with a very simple mixture of olive oil, butter, and spices, with just a sprinkle of fresh parsley at the end to brighten up the roots.  Simple, healthy, and when paired with a hearty risotto and glass of your favorite red wine, is the perfect meal for a cozy evening in.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb petit carrots, peeled, and carrot greens trimmed down
  • 2 medium sized fennel bulbs, sliced into rounds
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon Herbs de Provence
  • ½ tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or foil.

Place the butter and olive oil in a small saucepan and heat on low until the butter is melted.  Add in the minced garlic and Herbs de Provence and cook for a few minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant. Take off the heat and set aside.

Working in two batches, first place the carrots in a large bowl and spoon over half of the butter and oil mixture.  Using your hands, mix the carrots in the bowl until they’re sufficiently coated.  Lay the carrots out in one sheet pan and top with salt and pepper. 

Add the fennel rounds to the same bowl and coat with the remaining butter and oil mixture.  Lay the fennel out in the second sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Place both pans in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until the carrots and fennel begin to caramelize along the edges.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving platter and top with chopped parsley.