Winter’s in the air (in this hemisphere at least) and fennel is in season, so what better excuse to turn the oven on and get roasting. I feel like half of my posts this week have been about one kind of roasted vegetable or another. It’s definitely my mood, and the fact that winter vegetables ultimately taste best when given some long, slow heat. Fennel and cauliflower both become gloriously sweet when roasted and the savoury notes of vinegar, garlic and parsley pull the whole salad together nicely.
I made this salad to bring to Sunday’s Eurovision party. We ate it cold, as a side to some poached bratwurst on fluffy white buns. I also ate some hot, straight out of the oven when I was making it. Both ways were excellent. Make enough to serve right away and have leftovers.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2-3 fennel bulbs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Trim all the green from the cauliflower and cut it into even, bite-sized florets.
- Toss with a generous slug of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet.
- Cut the tops off the fennel bulbs. Slice in half and with the cut side down, slice vertically into 1-1/2 centimetre ( 1/2 inch) thick slices. Lay out on a separate baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Put both trays in the oven. After about 30 minutes, check the cauliflower and fennel, turning the pieces. The cauliflower will be getting browned. Leave the cauliflower in the oven for another 10-20 minutes, removing it just as it turns a dark brown (but not burnt) colour. Leave the fennel in the oven for another 20 minutes or so.
- In a blender or food processor, chop the garlic and parsley together with the white wine vinegar and enough olive oil to turn into a thick dressing. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Allow the veggies to cool down a little and toss with the dressing. Serve warm or cold.