Roast Fennel, Eggplant and Leek Salad

Roast Fennel, Eggplant and Leek SaladFennel is the new black and right now I am infatuated with this incredibly versatile vegetable. You can add it to almost any dish raw, roasted, steamed or sautéed and the flavour sensation any of these ways is a knock-out every time.  I particularly like roasting it as not only is the roasted texture of Fennel so sublimely good, but the aromas in the kitchen that accompany the process are truly magnificent, especially during Winter. Don’t be fooled by Fennel and it is also one of the worlds most healthiest foods loaded with Vitamin C, Potassium and Fiber.

Yes, I realise this is a ‘salad’ recipe for winter, but the roasted vegetables served on top of the rocket, spring onions and other assorted herbs is a heart-warming dish indeed.

Ingredients for Roasting:

1 Large Fennel bulb, cut into chunks with the core intact

1 Eggplant, chopped into juicy chunks, skin left on

1 Leek, washed, trimmed and cut into chunks

3 Cloves of Garlic, skin left on

Olive Oil

1 Tsp Ground Cummin

1 Tsp Paprika

Salt and Cracked Black Pepper

1) Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.

2) Mix the olive oil, cummin and paprika in a bowl, then rub over all prepared vegetables and place in a roasting pan, then place in pre-heated oven and roast for approx 40 minutes or till when they smell amazing and the fennel is caramelising and eggplant sizzling.

3) Remove vegetables from oven, separate garlic cloves as these will go in the dressing.

Salad and dressing:

Bunch of rocket leaves (or any other salad greens on hand, I just love rocket like there’s no tomorrow)

Spring Onions, chopped

Dill, chopped (or any other fresh herbs on hand, the aniseed flavour of Dill or Tarragon goes well with Fennel)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Juice of one small lemon

Dash of Sesame Oil

Salt and Pepper

1) Put rocket leaves, spring onions and dill in a salad bowl.

2) Mix Olive oil, lemon juice, sesame oil, salt and pepper in another small bowl.

3) Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into the dressing bowl with olive oil etc and stir up with a fork.

4) Place roasted vegetables on top of salad greens, then drizzle the dressing over.

5) Top with 1 Tbsp of toasted sesame seeds and serve.

And there you have it, another great fennel moment.