Thursday, May 08, 2008

Honey Roasted Carrots & Fennel


I am lucky enough (in my book at least) to have a husband that loves vegetables. Now, loving vegetables may seem like a regular given in your life but in mine, I can actually count with the fingers on one hand how many of my near and dear can actually claim truth in that statement. Ok, let’s see, there’s one…then um…well, there's my mom

You get the picture.

So, it is with no small amount of joy that I listen to C’s words, “Where’s the veg?

Not to paint a misleading picture of C. He does eat meat…and enjoys it. He is by no means a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination. And he is just as likely to say, “We haven’t had steak in a while”, as he is to say, “We haven’t had pechay in a while.” He is more an alpha-jock than he is a sensitive-poet. But he does love his veggies…he even loves this one!

That being said, as with all aspects of life, there are times when, even forearmed with important knowledge, you can still strike out. As I did with these roasted carrots.

I tell you – they were fabulous! Not just any roasted carrots, but honey roasted carrots with fennel. Not just any carrots, but pretty, svelte ones that came crowned with a gorgeous mane of green, from my favorite organic farmer (like these carrots). Not just any honey, but honey from a local bee farm in Tagaytay, brought back for me by my dear friend N. Not just any fennel, but locally-grown fennel which I spotted in the stall of another organic farmer in the market. So you see, pretty special stuff!

I tossed the fennel and carrots with the honey and some olive oil and in the oven they went to slowly roast and caramelize. Roasting is one of my favorite things to do with sturdy vegetables such as carrots -- the slow heat concentrating the sugars until you are left with a soft, yielding piece of veg with all its natural sugars singing in tandem! And for a vegetable like fennel, which I don’t particularly like raw, it tames the sharp anise-flavor, aside from heightening the sweetness. The honey just brings everything to a crescendo…the perfect siding for roast meats, or just to snack on indiscriminately as you would carrot sticks.

Knowing this, you can imagine that I was just a wee bit proud of myself as I trotted this out to C come dinner time. He looked at the pan, and then at me, and said, “Carrots are not really my favorite vegetable…” What??? (Yes, there are still many surprises in marriage) He likes this but not my honey-roasted carrots???

Honey Roasted Carrots & Fennel

  • 500-600 grams carrots (weighed without the stalks)
  • 1 bulb of fennel (mine was about 300 grams trimmed)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

- Trim stalks off the carrots and peel. If you have bigger carrots, slice lengthways into sticks. Trim and cut the fennel into quarters or eighths (depending on size).
- Line a roasting tin with baking paper, lay carrots and fennel flat in the tin, and drizzle with the honey and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place in a 180-190C oven and roast for about 35-45 minutes or until carrots are tender.

I shouldn’t complain, I know. C loves most all other veggies. And I can always make this in small batches to enjoy by myself. Plus we will celebrate our 2nd year of “surprises” next week (I know…more to come!) :) So all’s well in love, if not in veggies. You can’t ask for much more than that :)

p.s. I’m secretly hoping my friends will read this and get all defensive, suddenly claiming…"I do like vegetables!"

p.p.s. Incidentally, N, my friend who gave me the honey, isn’t a great big fan of vegetables either…although she does eat them in salad ;)


jj said...

Those look so good and I don't really are much for carrots! But I'd try these.

LyB said...

I just love the way you describe all those wonderful ingredients, that description alone had me drooling! Those veggies look delicious, the colors are so vibrant, really appetizing!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful dish and a great combination! Very yummy!

I love that picture!



lobstersquad said...

all the men in my family hete veg, so I love that my husband loves them. He doesn´t eat as many raw carrots as I do, but that´s ok.

Andreea said...

i love that combination. roasted fennel is delicious :)

Marvin said...

I like veggies too, but I'm very particular about carrots. Under no circumstances will I ever eat raw carrots. And even when they are cooked, they have to be cooked to very mushy before I even consider having a taste.

Karen said...

Looks so simple and delicious! I am currently going through a fennel phase. Will have to try your recipe this weekend.

Is your anniversary coming up next week? Ours is on the 20th...2 years already!

ChichaJo said...

Hi JJ! Thanks :)

Hi Lyb! Thank you! I really like it when ingredients I use are not a generic find from the supermarket but something with a little story attached :)

Thanks Rosa! :)

Hi Ximena! I hear ya :) Yes, I think if people already like vegetables in general, then they are excused from raw carrots! Hehe :)

Hi Andreea! I agree…and I don’t even usually like fennel, but roasted it’s really good :)

Hi Marvin! You can roast your carrots to desired mushy-ness ;)

Hi Karen! Hope you like it! My anniversary is on the 14th! Advanced happy anniversary to you :) How time flies…

AnticiPlate said...

This looks divine. Two of my favorite vegetables. Looks like it could have come right out of a Donna Hay cookbook.

Barbara said...

I love honey roasted carrots and parsnips. Have never tired it with fennel. It sounds delicious.

Franco said...

Hi Joey. I'm guessing the honey is from Ilog Maria but my burning question is, Where did you get the Fennel?

Manggy said...

Joey, you're so lucky to be near the farmers' market! I consider myself to be in a shopping limbo-- not that near Makati to go to Salcedo Village casually, and not that near Manila to go to Quiapo/ Baclaran for all the exotic markets :( I really really wanna prepare a fennel dish (and when I see it at Santi's, my mind completely blanks out on what I wanted to do)! This looks like a fantastic, delicious way to prepare it!

Suzana said...

Joey, funny how I could say exactly the same! I'm really glad my husband is a sucker for vegs (much like me) but carrots with honey would prove to much for him... It sounds delicious though. Lovely photo!

mtan said...

I saw the fennel at Salcedo Market last saturday and if I wasn't travelling for a few days would have bought them. Hope they're still available tomorrow, as I hope to make some fennel stuffed dumplings (chinese style).

I'm not an ampalaya lover, but I'll have honey roasted carrots anytime! Add a sprinkle of lightly toasted sesame seeds and I can eat them all day.

Veron said...

the hubby loves vegetables too. I'm the one that needs to reminded to eat my veggies. These look so delicious though, I can forget the meat and feast on these!

SteamyKitchen said...

oh you lucky! my husband thinks french fries count as his serving of veg.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Kari! Thanks! That’s a big compliment for me :)

Hi Barbara! Would you believe…I have never tried parsnips! I will keep an eye out for it…

Hi Franco! Yup, the honey is from Ilog Maria…I put a link in there :) The fennel is from Salcedo Market…one of the bigger vegetable stalls…the guy there is called Joey :)

Hi Manggy! I count my lucky stars I’m near two markets (a Saturday and a Sunday one!) :) I got the fennel at Salcedo Market :)

Hi Suzana! Thanks :) Glad to see I’m not alone :)

Hi M! That’s the one I got methinks :) I’m sure they’ll have it tomorrow…maybe I’ll bump into you there! Those Chinese dumplings sound delish! Will try the sesame seeds next time :)

Hi Veron! Heehee :) My husband reminds me too, although I do love veggies…actually I love food period…which can sometimes be a problem!

Hi Jaden! Hahaha! I’m sure you can sneak some in there ;) With your gorgeous dishes it’ll be easy!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Joey, it will be a record if this turns out to be the only thing he's not crazy about. The sure look wonderful to me. They look like something I'd be happy for leftovers.

katrina said...

Sorry, but I won't get defensive...I really am not fond of vegetables. There are a few I do like, and sometimes I make myself eat a salad or whatever vegetables are served (except amapalaya) just 'cause I know I should, but not 'cause I really want to. Carrots, though, I almost never eat (except in cake, which, strangely enough, I love!). Even when it's mixed with other veggies, I pick it out. I know carrots are high in sugar and everyone talks about their sweetness, but to me it tastes like...metal. Weird, huh?!

Eileen said...

This looks wonderful and I know my husband would love this!


Dhanggit said...

my hubby hates vegetables and its always been a big challenge for me to convince him to eat. I'll definitely try this honey roasted carrots and fennel recipe of yours it might convert him, he knows..i'll probably roast inside some white fish like cabillaud that blends well with fennel and honey :-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tanna! Well I haven't tried him out with beets yet! Heehee :)

Hi Katrina! Metal huh? To each his own really...I met a guy who thought pandan tasted like popcorn! As for me, I think I am a fan of too many edibles! Has always been my downfall ;)

Thanks Eileen! I hope he does!

Hi Dhanggit! Oh wow...with that fish it sounds marvellous! I hope he likes it :)

Holler said...

I think that combination looks gorgeous and what a beautiful photo! Still there is no accounting for taste. If I served this dish, I would get the same reaction from Graham about the fennel *sigh*

christine said...

Oooh yum! That looks good and with fennel! I make something similar - Chablis & honey-glazed carrots. I'm the opposite of Marvin, when it comes to carrots, I prefer them as close to raw and crunchy as possible. And I'm surprised C doesn't like carrots.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Holler! Thanks :) That's why I have become adept at making small servings...which is what I'll do with this next time!

Oohlala Nens! Chablis and honey sound fabulous! Hay...I was surprised as well! He will eat them but there are not a favorite...I think he is more an ampalaya and pechay type of guy :)

Lael said...

honey? carrots? fennel? This will surely hit the spot. Thanks for sharing your recipe. It's nice to find an equally passionate breakfast lover.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lael! Yay for breakfast! :) Glad you liked the recipe...simple dishes can be fantastic as long as you use wonderful and fresh basic ingredients :)