Roasted Carrots and Fennel
This is a great fall or winter side dish. The fennel seeds and leaves give it an extra kick of the anise-y flavor, so if you’re not super into that you can either reduce the amount of fennel seeds or skip the leaves altogether. Personally, I love that taste – it goes well with just about anything. I served this with roast beef last night, but have put it alongside everything from lamb to tofu.
This recipe is quite good without the final flambe, but I added it once to impress some guests (cause, you know, fire is fun) and the brandy adds this sweet kick that really suits the fennel flavors.
Preheat an oven to 375°F.
Cut the stalks and leaves from the fennel bulb.; set about 2 T. of chopped leaves aside. Cut the bulb quarters, lengthwise, and then carefully cut out the most of the core - leave enough to hold the wedges together. Then slice into about smaller wedges, about 1/2" thick each.
Peel & cut the carrots into 3-4" long sticks, as thick as you like them. Crush the fennel seeds somewhat using an herb grinder or mortar and pestle.
Put the carrots, fennel, oil, and spices (everything but the brandy) into a large bowl and toss well to coat. Spread them out on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and roast in the oven until the vegetables are starting to caramelize. 25-40 minutes, depending on how big your carrots are and how brown you like them.
IF you're feeling a little ambitious - pull the vegetables from the oven a bit before they're done and transfer to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once it's starting to sizzle add the brandy and light with a long match or bbq lighter, being sure to keep a safe distance from the pan. Let it cook until the flames go out, then remove from heat and serve immediately.