This vegetable side dish features fennel and white onion baked in a simple parchment paper pocket.
Parchment paper baking is a unique cooking style that steams and roasts the vegetables at the same time. The method intensifies the inherent sweetness and flavors of the vegetables.
In this recipe, the fennel bulb and white onion is combined with a bit of olive oil, butter, and honey.
After it’s baked, you have a beautifully steamed vegetable side dish accented with caramelized bits of umami goodness from the oven bake.
Its texture is succulent, yet still a bit firm. Overall, it is slightly sweet, yet with a pleasing complex flavor.
The liquorish taste of the fennel, combined with the pungency of the onion, is incredible served with mashed potato or polenta.
Vegetables Baked In Parchment
The idea of baking vegetables sealed in parchment paper packets is said to have originated with Alice Waters. She was the pioneer chef of one of America’s first farm-to-table restaurants, Chef Panisse.
She would prepare hers with new potatoes and whole garlic cloves.
Waters’ recipe idea was published in “The Greens Cookbook,” written by Deborah Madison, who is the culinary creator of yet another famous restaurant.
Greens Restaurant is located right on the San Francisco Marina, with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s an upscale vegetarian restaurant that has inspired me for decades.
Madison writes that Waters used to enjoy opening the individual packets in front of her guests so they could enjoy the delicate aroma of the perfectly cooked, farm-fresh vegetables.
The anticipation of an individual packet of vegetables baked in parchment just for you!
It was likely hard for the guests to resist. Wouldn’t you love it, too?
This is super easy to make. Are you ready to give it a try?
The recipe below serves two, but you can halve it for an individual serving, or multiply it for four.
If you want to try vegetables baked in parchment, but fennel isn’t your thing, see my companion post, Butternut Squash & Leeks Baked in Parchment.
Let this cooking method inspire you to get creative with your own vegetable combinations!
I could imagine carrot, parsnip and onion being good.
Or cauliflower and potato with turmeric.
Or daikon radish and kale.
Endless possibilities await when you roast vegetables in parchment.
Recipe For Fennel & White Onion Baked In Parchment
- 2 cups (large bulb fennel), outer part removed and thinly sliced
- 1 cup (medium white onion), thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl with the exception of the butter. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fold the parchment paper in half and make a crease. Generously butter the bottom half of the parchment, leaving an inch from the edge clean.
- Heap the vegetables into the center of the buttered area and spread them over the entire half, carefully leaving the edge free. Dot with a few small pieces of butter.
- Fold the top half of the paper down and tightly fold and roll the two halves together to form a seal. Now fold and roll the outside edges of the paper inward until everything is sealed into a pocket. It will look rustic, and this is exactly the fun of it, so don’t worry. Just get it sealed.
- Place the packet on a baking tray and bake for approximately 25 minutes. The packet will begin to brown, and once you see this you will know that the roasted vegetables are ready.
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