All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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Many people think they hate fennel. Even I can find it overpowering – but when sliced paper thin in a salad – or when roasted in a risotto – delicious – and two completely different animals. Raw fennel has that distinct licorice flavor but, roasted, it mellows out & gets soft & subtle – much like garlic. It doesn’t taste like garlic – it mellows the way garlic does – and takes on an almost creamy flavor. Lovely.
This potato dish is adapted from this – Recipe for warm potato, fennel and onion salad with balsamic vinaigrette – seen below.
This stuff smelled so good while it was cooking – it was all I could do not to just sit in front of the cooked result & shove it, wholesale, into my face without regard for decency or the fact that it was to hot to eat. Really yummy! I promise! The red onions offer a bit of sweet/tang – as does the balsamic dressing – and the potato & fennel offer a creamy counterpart. Great warm or at room temperature. And – because there is no mayo – this potato salad does well sitting out at picnics, BBQs & buffets without giving you fears that everyone will soon drop dead from the salmonella you served them. People like it better, I have found, that they not get food poisoning at gatherings. True story. So – try this amazing potato salad! Raw – this filled a huge cooking sheet to capacity. Cooked – it shrunk considerably so – I would say these feeds 4-6 as a side – depending on appetites.
Vegan Roasted Red Potato & Fennel Salad
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
8 large red potatoes – cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large fennel bulb – cut into 1-inch dice (reserve the fronds)
1/2 large red onion – cut into 1-inch dice
4 TBS balsamic vinegar
4 TBS agave nectar
1 tsp Dijon
1/3 cup olive oil (plus extra for roasting)
S&P to taste
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
I lined a large, rimmed cooking sheet with parchment paper but just naked on the pan is fine, too. Put the potatoes, onions & fennel on the sheet & drizzle with olive oil. Add S&P. Toss – by hand – until everything has a light coat of oil and S&P.
Roast 2o minutes, turn the vegetables and roast another 20 minutes – or until the potatoes are soft & browning.
Meanwhile, in a far or bowl – mix the remaining ingredients. When the potatoes are done & still warm – toss with SOME – not all – of the balsamic dressing. Taste & add more as you like. I only ended up using about half of the dressing & the potatoes absorbed it & had a lovely, light flavor. You might prefer a heavier hand – or even leave the dressing on the table for folks to add as they like.
Garnish with the fennel fronds & serve warm or at room temperature.