Have you ever had Grilled Fennel? It is guaranteed to become one of your favorite recipes for side dishes especially when you are cooking on the grill.
Are you looking for a unique grilling idea that will pique the curiosity of family and friends the next time you are hosting a barbecue?
I would like to suggest this recipe for grilled fennel.
It is the perfect vegetable to include as part of your grilled vegetable platter. But before you realize how ridiculously easy and delicious this recipe is, let’s take a closer look at this vegetable.
What is it?
Fennel, more specifically Florence fennel, also referred to as finocchio, is a bulbous vegetable that belongs to the carrot family. Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean region, this shoot vegetable is very common in Italian and Greek dishes.
What does it look like?
Fennel has two distinct parts -a large white bulb with many layers and long hollow stalks with feathery green fronds.
What does it taste like?
- Raw fennel has a mild, refreshing, faint anise flavor;
- Grilled or roasted fennel has a mild sweet taste;
- Smaller bulbs are milder in flavor and are great in salads or simply eaten raw;
- Larger bulbs have a more pronounced flavor and are great for grilling, braising and roasting;
How to choose and store
- Look for white bulbs that are compact and firm, blemish-free and without any cracks. The stalks should be crisp with fronds that show no sign of wilting or flowering;
- Store unwashed fennel in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
How to prepare
- Rinse your bulb under cold running water;
- Cut off the stalks and the feathery fronds from the bulb;
- Trim off a very thin slice from the base of the bulb and remove any of the outer tough layers if they appear to be blemished. You can use a peeler to remove any spots;
- Place the bulb upright and simply slice it lengthwise. When grilling, it is important to leave the inner core in place as this will prevent the fennel bulb from falling apart.
Nutrition note: Fennel is a great source of vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium. One cup of chopped fennel will provide you with approximately 30 calories.
How to use fresh fennel:
As was mentioned, all parts of the fennel are edible in different ways to maximize taste.
The fronds: Can be used just like any fresh herbs as a garnish and in soups, stews and salads;
The stalks: Great to include when making soup stocks, stir-fries and/or as a base when roasting fish or chicken in the oven.
The bulb: Can be eaten raw or thinly sliced in salads. It can also be roasted (or grilled) with other vegetables to make the perfect side dish.
In fact, you won’t believe how easy it is to make grilled fennel. What is more unbelievable is the taste transformation from a light anise flavor to an unexpected sweetness, achieved with just a few ingredients.
Once you have washed and trimmed your fennel, slice it into ½ inch slices lengthwise.
Brush lightly with olive oil and place directly onto the grill. Both an indoor or outdoor grill works great with this recipe.
Grill for about 3-5 minutes of each side or until lightly charred. The fennel cooking time will vary as it depends on the size of your fennel bulb. The end result should be a soft and tender bulb.
Remove from the grill and squirt with the lemon juice of ½ a lemon.
Season with sea salt and a grinding of pepper to taste. A sprinkle of Italian parsley and you are done!
Be prepared to listen to all the oohs and the ahhs as your family and friends devour this grilled fennel.
Just in case you are looking for another fennel side dish, you must try this recipe for Roasted Fennel.
During the summer, it is not uncommon for my husband and me to take weekly trips to the farmer’s market, despite the fact that I usually go overboard. It is a great way to encourage local producers and I always find some inspiration to share with all of you. Not to mention the fact that local produce just tastes so much better.
As you probably know, I am especially fond of Quebec strawberries, green beans, and local tomatoes!
We also enjoy hanging out in the backyard with family and friends. In my opinion, there is nothing easier than entertaining in the summer, especially if you have an outdoor barbecue.
Over the years, and with a lot of trial and error, we have grown very fond of experimenting with different foods on the barbecue. One such food was fennel.
Growing up Italian meant we ate a lot of fennel. We would often have it raw, simply sliced, and always served after a meal. According to my grandmother, it would help with digestion. Fennel would often be paired with oranges, as in this Fennel Orange Salad.
My love for fennel would usually mean that if I found a recipe that had fennel as an ingredient, I would give it a try. I have already shared a few with all of you, including this amazing recipe for Grilled Chicken with Fennel.
It is great as a side dish for fish or chicken. But the sky is the limit as far as how you can use grilled fennel in salads or as part of the main dish.
Just in case you are looking for other vegetables to grill on the barbecue, Denise, over at URBNSPICE has you covered.
Have you ever grilled fennel before?
I would love to hear about your recipe!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this fennel recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Grilled Fennel Recipe
- 2 fennel rinsed, sliced ½ inch lengthwise with core intact
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- pinch sea salt
- ½ lemon juice and zest freshly squeezed, juice and zest
- Italian parsley (optional) fresh, chopped
- Heat grill to medium high heat.
- Brush both sides lightly with the olive oil.
- Place sliced fennel on the grill.
- Grill until lightly charred. This should take about 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Remove from grill and place on serving dish.
- Drizzle with juice of ½ lemon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.Optional: garnish with parsley and/or fennel fronds.
Delicious. Have made them twice and the second time I parboiled before the grill.
That is such a great idea Jeff! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing.
This was excellent!
Thanks so much Anna!
Paula Barbarito Levitt
The perfect side dish to any grilled fish or meat and what is even better – you do not need to heat up the kitchen.
This is very true… especially during those dog days of summer! Thanks so much for stopping by ♥
Amazing how grilling the fennel can change the flavour profile so much. Love the the recipe is easy to follow, yet yields such an impressive dish.
It never seizes to amaze me how grilling fruits and veggies totally transforms the taste. Appreciate your comment, thanks for stopping by :).
This is happening this weekend, my friend! Can’t wait – will let you know! Hugs, D
Fantastic! Hope you like it!!! Thanks for stopping by Diane ♥♥♥
Yum! I love roasted fennel but have never grilled it! I must give this a try! Thanks for sharing 🙂
My pleasure Lizzy 🙂 If you love roasted fennel, I am sure you will be a big fan of grilled fennel. Hope you get a chance to try. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂
Denise from Urb'n'Spice
Oh, my gosh, Maria! Thanks so much for the mention! I was merrily enjoying reading your Grilled Fennel Recipe post and saw my name – you made my day with such a sweet surprise 🙂 I love fennel in any way, really. Citrus fennel salad is a favourite of ours, too – especially with grilled fish. And an elegant Cream of Fennel soup with Gruyere can be made with this humble vegetable. I cannot wait to try grilling it as you suggest. I can imagine the mildly sweet flavour. Your platter looks lovely. Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs!
My pleasure Denise 🙂 I am a big fan of anything fennel… I’m guessing just like you 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by, appreciate it ♥
So simple, and yet simply delicious! Like most Italian cuisine, simple and fresh is best. Grilled fennel (along with grilled lemons) makes a unique and tasty side dish. Thanks for sharing!
Simple and fresh really is the secret, isn’t it? I love to see the reaction of friends whenever we serve grilled fennel… I can honestly say that it is liked most of the times. Thanks for dropping by Elaine, appreciate your comment.
Karen (Back Road Journal)
My husband and I love grilled fennel, actually anyway it is prepared. It makes a nice side when serving fish.
It truly is a wonderful vegetable. Thanks for dropping in Karen ♥
I just moved to Sicilia, and so recently discovered finocchio! I’m doing this tomorrow. Thank you!