Here we are in a new year already! 2022 is in the record books, everyone around me is doing “Dry-uary” (except Martha Stewart, who’s all in on Tito’s), starting a New Year’s diet, or back at the gym (this will only last until mid-January). My version of these resolutions is to turn to winter food that’s a little lighter than all the heavy meals I enjoyed over Christmas and New Years. Since it’s the New Year, I’m also keen to explore new interpretations of classic Italian ingredients and flavors.
At Christmas 🎄, we served a traditional Italian salad of raw fennel, black olives and sliced oranges, which I love this time of year. But I also love roasted fennel. I started to think about roasting fennel with other vegetables, and asked myself, “why not add citrus into the mix?” I won’t pretend that the result is a traditional recipe from a remote hill town in a little-traveled region of Italy: it’s my own invention. But while a bit of an experiment, this is a very Italian dish in its approach: in-season, vegetable-forward, simply prepared–and, as it turns out–a pleasantly surprising combination of winter flavors. The citrus–I used mandarin oranges, but other easily-segmented citrus would also work well–brings a note of tangy sweetness to the earthiness of the fennel and Brussels sprouts. Easy to prepare, light and healthy, this non-traditional yet very traditional vegetable dish can be served hot as a side dish or cold as a salad (as is or mixed with lettuces, which are in season in Los Angeles, at least!).
My post-Christmas blues are already ebbing as I anticipate more experiments and food adventures to share at Our Italian Table!Print
Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Fennel and Citrus
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 2–4 side dishes 1x
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 lb Brussel sprouts
- 3 Mandarin oranges or Tangerines
- 1–2 wedges cut from a Navel orange
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 400℉.
- Setup a mixing bowl to hold the ingredients.
- Trim away any brown on the fennel bulb root. Trim off the stems. Half the fennel bulb from top to bottom then into thin wedges. Add to bowl.
- Prepare the Brussel sprouts by trimming the ends and then cut in half through the stem end. Add to bowl.
- Peel the Mandarin oranges or Tangerines and break into segments. Add to bowl.
- Liberally coat the vegetables with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Pour the vegetables out on a sheet pan (I suggest you cover the pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Roast for 20 mins and then toss the vegetables around with a long spoon. Roast for another 10-15 mins until the vegetables are nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Squeeze the orange segments on the cooked vegetables and toss.
- Serve while hot.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Cuisine: Italian
Interesting riff on the classic salad (which I love). Happy New Year to you both!
Thanks Joe, we use a lot of fennel. I normally stew, bake with seasoned bread crumbs or in a white sauce, boil, toss in a pan with a little onion, serve as a salad with Parmigiano, pistachio nuts and oranges or just bite into it as it is but I have never thought of this. Excellent idea. We’re having this “experiment” tonight. Pino loved the idea. Thanks
I don’t know how I ended up reading your site called the Italian table, But I am glad that I did. I have made a vow to myself to eat less red meat and to eat more like my grandfather who was from Sicily. So I will be reading more of your Italian table recipes and enjoying them, I am sure.
Rosemary: Thanks for your comment! Boy, oh, boy.. I knew a lot of Piazzas in my home town of Phillipsburg, NJ. It’s nice to hear the name again. Our blog (my sister and I) is not a strictly vegetable blog but in truth Italians (in Italy) eat very little red meat. The major meats are chicken and pork and a lot of fish if you’re near the ocean but all meals have lots of veggies and certainly pasta!
I’ll talk to my sister.. we should really lean into veggies even more. In Italy, it’s all about seasonal veggies. No asparagus from Peru in August. That’s how I like to eat!