As I pondered over my favorite fall treats last week, I promised to compose a fabulous feast combining both figs and fennel. Both items are absolutely outstanding when fresh, and when coupled together, they are truly a knockout. The seedy sweet and juicy flesh of a fig invites the palate to enjoy the crisp and candied delight of a fennel bulb when presented in kind.
A feast it may not be, but to say this dish is a sensual pleasure is certainly so ~
Caramelizing both fresh fennel and onions with the very last of the season’s heirloom tomatoes, and then glazing with a fiery fig balsamic vinegar produces both an aroma and flavor of savory sweet paradise.
Warming and satisfying, I couldn’t help but add a touch of pastured pork belly to my plate.
Fiery Fig Balsamic Roasted Fennel, Onions, and Tomatoes
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
2 Tbs. coconut oil
2 Tbs. fig balsamic vinegar (if unavailable, just balsamic will do – but add some fresh figs to the roasting pan)
1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sliced vegetables with coconut oil and sea salt in a large glass baking dish. Roast for approximately 15 minutes. Stir and rotate. Continue to roast until the vegetable begin to brown. Add the fig balsamic vinegar and chili flakes (if desired). Roast an additional 10 minutes, continually stirring so as not to burn. Continue to watch and roast until caramelization is complete.
Enjoy with crispy and delicious pork belly bits ~ or strips ~ or more!