Roasted California Fennel with Olive Tapenade, Feta & Mint

4.4 (21)
Roasted California Fennel with Olive Tapenade, Feta & Mint

Slow-roasting fennel caramelizes its natural sugars and softens what in a raw state is a very crisp texture to something like that of a rich roasted onion. Topped with olive tapenade, feta and mint, it makes a side dish that can’t be beat. Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence Family Meal by Tyler Florence (Rodale, 2010).

Yield: 12 servings
Active Time: 25
Total Time: 90


  • 6 large bulbs fennel, with tops
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 small cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rinsed capers
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup torn fresh mint leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut off the fennel stalks and coarsely chop the fronds; reserve the chopped fronds for garnish. Halve each fennel bulb lengthwise, trim the base and remove the tough outer layer. Rub the bulb halves with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper. Place cut-side down in a roasting pan.
  3. Roast the fennel until soft and caramelized, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the olive tapenade, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, olives, parsley, tarragon, garlic, capers, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a food processor and pulse until chunky.
  5. To serve, arrange the roasted fennel on a serving platter and top with the tapenade, then sprinkle with feta, mint and the reserved fennel fronds.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the roasted fennel (Steps 2-3) and tapenade (Step 4) in separate containers for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 151
fat 11 g (3 g sat, 7 g mono)
cholesterol 8 mg
carbohydrates 11 g
protein 3 g
fiber 5 g
sodium 538 mg
potassium 557 mg

Nutrition Bonus Vitamin C (28% daily value), Potassium (16% dv), Vitamin A (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Serving 1/2

Exchanges 1 vegetable, 2 fat

From EatingWell May/June 2011