Raw fennel is a love it or hate it kind of vegetable, usually based on whether you like the strong black licorice flavor that comes with it. My dad, Farmer Paul, often had stashes of black licorice Jelly Belly’s around the farm – finding one of those bags was like hitting the sweet tooth jackpot – the farm kids developed a love for the rich licorice flavor early on. Others aren’t so lucky... If you aren’t in the licorice camp, one way to mellow the flavor of fennel is to roast it, either by itself or with other vegetables.
Any other roasting vegetables (the broccoli, honeynut squash, or carrots work great!)
Preheat oven to 375°. Cut the fennel and any other roasting vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Lay the vegetables out into a roasting or baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with foil or a lid, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue roasting until the fennel is tender and browned, about 20 more minutes. Drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar over the top and serve warm.