I’m always looking for new vegetable (and new ways of cooking boring ones) to add to my repertoire. Earlier this week I decided to try roasting fennel, a flavor (anise) I don’t really care for. It turned out really good! I have resolved to try a new vegetable each month – you should do it too!

The mashed peas recipe I took from CookingLight. It was so good and easy that I just had to share it.



Fennel is that weird-looking thing in the produce department with white bulb with green stalks sprouting from it. Normally fennel tastes like a cross between celery, cabbage, and licorice. Roasting, however, brings out an entirely new flavor – as if pine nuts decided to join the party.

2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs thinly sliced
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub just enough olive oil over the fennel to coat. Sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar, also to coat. Line baking dish with aluminum foil. Lay out pieces of fennel and roast for 15-20 (maybe 25) minutes, until the fennel is cooked through and beginning to caramelize.

1 teaspoon butter
1 cup thinly sliced leek
1/4 cup water
1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Heat butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add water and peas; cook 5 minutes or until peas are tender.

Place pea mixture in a food processor. Add basil, juice, and tarragon; process until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; keep warm.

Get out there and try a new veggie!


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings