Roasted fall vegetables: potatoes and fennel

I’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND IT’S STILL TRUE: if your kids are reluctant to eat veggies, the best thing you can do is roast them. The veggies, not the kids. Here’s my favorite way to prepare almost any vegetable, and bonus, the best way to slide a new one in there too. We combined a tried and true favorite with fennel and it worked, sort of.

We’re potato eaters at this place and the kids, like everyone, love them roasted. Onto a baking sheet go the sliced potatoes, peels and all. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The oven has to be piping hot before you put the pan in; 425 is perfect. Roast for about 25 minutes, flipping 2 times along the way to ensure even browning.

And this time I also added big pieces of fennel. It’s not exactly new to the little guys because they have it once a week or so at their italian nursery school, only there it’s called finocchio. But if you haven’t tried it, fennel has a slightly licorice-y flavor but in a good way, not the black candy that only your grandmother eats. Even so, I was a little aggressive with the fennel, making it a 1 to 1 ratio with the spuds; if you’re trying something new I’d suggest going lighter on the fennel. The point is to give them a few bites of a tasty new flavor, not force feed them a year’s supply. Note to self, ahem. Anyway, as it was, I ate the most fennel at our table, but the kids did try a little too. Ditto for dad.

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