Broccoli with Roasted Fennel

Fennel is one of the many wonderful vegetables Americans do not incorporate into their diet enough. Though fennel is becoming more popular in the states, it has been widely consumed in Europe and Asia for centuries. Some cultures claim that fennel contains slimming properties while other use it to cure hangovers. Whatever the claim, it is damn delicious. Yes, I said damn. The only adjective that really comes to mind when I try to describe the taste of raw fennel is licorice. Now please, do not let this turn you off (though it shouldn't) from trying it, as the flavor transforms into something magical when roasted.

I came up with this combination when frankly just being bored from eating broccoli. I had been preparing roasted fennel on its own and one day decided to toss it in with some broccoli I had prepared. It has been a staple ever since.

Some tips before you start:

- Watch the fennel closely as it cooks. I have burned it many times!
- Don't over-steam the broccoli. You really just want to soften it as the
broccoli will cook in the frying pan.
- Add the garlic at the very end. Otherwise, it will burn.
- Experiment! Don't just limit yourself to broccoli. Fennel would make a great
accompaniment to a plethora of vegetables.

Broccoli with Roasted Fennel and Onions

1 fennel bulb
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1 broccoli head, cleaned
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
red pepper

Remove the stem and bottom of the fennel. Cut fennel in half and remove the bulb at the very bottom. Slice in thin strips. Toss sliced fennel and sliced onion on a pre-lined baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 425 degree pre-heated onion for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, steam broccoli in boiling water for 6-8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as the broccoli will continue to cook when sauteed. Strain broccoli and saute in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Add the roasted fennel and onion

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