Saffron Fennel

Whether you are a fennel fan or not, this recipe is a must for veggie lovers. Enjoy this dish warm, right out of the oven, or at room temperature.  


  • 2 large or 4 small fennel bulbs 
  • 1.5 cube of vegetable bouillon dissolved in 3/4 C boiling water
  • 3 large pinches saffron strands 
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Large handful parsley
  • Rosemary sprig, leaves stripped 
  • Sea salt
  • 4 oz. pistachios
  • 1 tsp orange zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. 
  2. Place vegetable bouillon cubes in a glass bowl with boiling water. Once dissolved, add saffron threads to “bloom.” Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Trim off the darker green stems of the fennel bulbs and reserve any fronds. Slice the bulb from top to base, cutting crossways through the row of stems, into slices 1 cm thick. You should have about eight slices. Lay the slices in one layer, covering the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Add olive oil to bouillon and saffron mix and pour over the fennel. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  5.  While baking, prepare the nut and herb crumb mixture. Chop the parsley, rosemary, orange zest and pistachios with a pinch of salt in a food processor until very finely chopped. 
  6. After fennel has baked for 20 minutes, take the dish from the oven and carefully remove the foil. Baste the fennel with the cooking liquid. Return the dish to the oven without the foil and reduce the liquid for about 10 minutes more, until it is almost gone.
  7. Remove the dish again and spoon the nut and herb mixture on top of each slice of fennel. Return to the top rack of the oven and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the crumb is lightly browned and the liquid is completely reduced.
  8. Serve warm, garnished with any reserved fronds alongside mashed potatoes, rice pilaf or quinoa.


Adapted from SuperVeg by Celia Brooks