Roasted Fennel, Chilli and Sweet Potato Salad

My daughter usually calls me on her way home from school wanting to know what’s for dinner and when I say a salad, she normally groans! However, after tasting this salad there wasn’t any pushing of food around in hopes the salad would magically disappear! This recipe hails from an Australian magazine called, ‘Sumptuous‘. Sweet potatoes and fennel are a good source of vitamin A, C, B6, iron, potassium and fiber. Fresh fennel should have a fragrant aroma, smelling subtly of licorice or anise.

Serves 4
2 small fennel bulbs, quartered
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 whole large red chillies
1 head of garlic
zest from 1 lemon
olive oil for cooking
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch of rocket
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 180c. Place fennel, sweet potatoes, chillies, whole garlic cloves and lemon zest in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and mix until coated. Spread on a tray and roast until vegetables are tender and have caramelised a little (about 20 minutes). When cool, mix with the rocket and pumpkin seeds, dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
We’re not big on pumpkin seeds so I omitted this. Cook the garlic in its skin and remove skin after finished cooking. I sliced a couple of the cooked garlic cloves and left some whole to toss into the salad. The cooked garlic will taste sweet and the flavors from this dish were amazing. A bit of heat from the chilli peppers was softened by the sweet potato and the unique, aromatic taste of fennel (hints of licorice and anise).


  1. Cynthia on June 16, 2007 at 01:30

    This looks like a full, hearty meal.

    When I used to live at home (ages ago) on my way home from work I used to call my mom to find out what’s for dinner too 🙂

  2. Jan Scholl on June 16, 2007 at 06:42

    It’s almost 3 AM my time and I can smell this roasting if I close my eyes. Dee-lish!

  3. The Culinary Chase on June 17, 2007 at 13:05

    Thanks Cynthia & Jan! I liked this dish I made it again on Saturday night. Cheers!

  4. AG on March 27, 2008 at 17:22

    I adapted this dish because I’m on a sugar-restricted diet:

    – no pumpkin seeds (couldn’t find them)
    – dressing = truffle-infused olive oil and lemon juice

    It was amazing! Thank you!

  5. Anonymous on April 10, 2010 at 00:16

    I am on a severely carb restricted diet, but I’ve printed this recipe out – It will be my first meal whe I can eat sweet potatoes again- looks positively wonderful!

  6. The Culinary Chase on April 11, 2010 at 00:59

    Thanks AG & Anon! Hope you like it as much as we did! Cheers!

  7. curly girl on November 9, 2011 at 00:37

    Umm, what’s rocket?

  8. The Culinary Chase on November 9, 2011 at 12:52

    Curly Girl, rocket is another name for arugula. Cheers!