Oh, if only you could have been in my kitchen this morning. Of course I would have loved your company! It smelled like a home. Not a house but a warm, okay it was 91 degrees outside too, but warm in the heart - home kitchen.
Can you picture it? Fennel and potatoes are caramelizing in the hot oven, and sweet Italian sausage is sizzling in its own juice on the stove top. Can you smell it cooking? When it was ready, I sliced the sausage and spooned the fennel, sausage and potatoes into a serving dish and tossed them together with a little lemon juice and zest. And, then I finished it off with a handful of chopped parsley. Now can you taste it? Sweet, earthy, citrusy, meaty, so simple, and so good. Hope you will enjoy it too.
Roasted Fennel & Potatoes with Sweet Italian Sausage, Lemon & Parsley
1 large fennel bulb, top cut off and bulb cut in quarters and then into ½-inch slices, lengthwise
2 medium potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then into ½ inch slices
3 sweet Italian sausages
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon zest, to taste
Finely chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400º. Place the fennel and potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Rub olive oil on both sides of vegetables, then salt and pepper to taste. Roast for approximately 25-30 minutes or until potatoes and fennel are tender and slightly caramelized.
Sausage- Spray a skillet with non-stick spray. Place the skillet over medium heat and add the sausages- do not pierce the skins. Cook at a medium temperature so that sausages do not dry out, and are golden brown and cooked through. (Cover if the sausages cook too fast, then uncover to brown). Let the sausages rest for about 10 minutes and then slice each sausage diagonally into 3 sections.
To a serving dish, add the fennel, potatoes, and sausage. Sprinkle with a touch of lemon juice and the zest of one-half lemon or to taste. Gently toss to mix the vegetables and sausage together. Add fresh chopped parsley to the top. Serves 2.
Every year, I challenge myself as a gardener to grow something I've never grown before and this year was no exception. As a professional garden writer, I was privileged to be given several exciting new varieties to trial. Additionally, in my travels this year, I had the chance to evaluate many more new plants in trial gardens across the country. The following new annuals, which will be new at retail in Spring 2017, received top ratings in my book.
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