Grilled Fennel with Balsamic Recipe

by katerina on August 17, 2009

Grilled Fennel Recipe

Fennel has just started appearing at our farmers markets and I am thrilled because I have really enjoyed all of the fennel recipes I have tried before, such as braised, roasted and thrown in risottos. I find a lot of people don’t like fennel because of the anise flavour. I am not a big fan of anise either but when cooked fennel becomes milder and sweeter.

Grilled Fennel with Balsamic

Because it’s summer, and we are trying to maximize our use of the barbecue I figured it was a perfect opportunity to try grilled fennel.  Fennel is lovely grilled because it retains some of it’s crunch but also develops that pleasant sweetness which I chose to enhance with the balsamic.  Grilled Fennel really couldn’t be easier, and when I do it again I will make enough for leftovers because I bet the grilled fennel would be delicious in a roasted vegetable sandwich or in a salad.

Print Recipe

Grilled Fennel with Balsamic

(serves 2)

1 fennel bulb
2 teaspoons olive oil, seperated
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Trim the fennel stalks and fronds away, you can use them for something else. Cut the bulb in four and gently trim away the core. You want to leave just enough core to hold the sections together. If you have a larger fennel bulb feel free to slice these 4 sections in half again. Rub the fennel with 1 teaspoon of the oil and a generous helping of salt and pepper.

Heat your grill to medium and make sure it is clean and oiled. Put the fennel on the grill, cover, and turn down to medium low. Check on the fennel in 5 minutes, if it is young and tender it is probably ready to be turned, otherwise it may need another few minutes. Baste with olive oil as needed. Grill 5-8 minutes per side and then drizzle with balsamic when hot. It should still have a good crispness to it, but not be raw either. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 10 minutes | Total Time:15 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 77

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Karine August 18, 2009 at 3:12 am

Great idea to have grilled the fennel! Thanks for sharing! :)


Nina Timm August 18, 2009 at 7:20 am

I am ashamed to say that I have only this year started to appreciate the taste of fresh fennel.This will make a nice addition to my fennel recipes to try!!


Anh August 18, 2009 at 10:44 am

Grilling fennel is such a neat idea! :)


Christie's Corner August 18, 2009 at 11:58 am

I'm grilling almost everything this week as the humidity is enough to make me melt and we have no air conditioning.

I can't resist anything roasted with balsamic vinegar, so will have to give this a try soon!


Angelique from Bitchin' Kitchen August 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Italians freakin' love fennel! We usually have it on it's own or in a salade. I just started grilling my fennel too… tastes awesome!


Kalyn August 19, 2009 at 2:18 am

Embarassed to say I have never once cooked fennel. I want to try this!


Tiffiny Felix August 19, 2009 at 5:03 am

I LOVE fennel, but I've never grilled it. It must be amazing! Just yum!


Katerina August 19, 2009 at 5:05 am

Nina – it is relatively new to me too.

Charmian – another heatwave huh? We never seem to have them at the same time.

Angelique – I think I am almost ready for raw fennel..

Kalyn – doooo itttttt! I am sure you will enjoy as you use fennel seeds frequently.


Mel - November 25, 2009 at 8:00 am

Yums :) Care to submit it to and my battle fennel?

For more info:


Rebecca July 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I frequent a restaurant that combines grilled fennel, grilled strawberries and balsamic vinegar. They serve it warm as a delicious and unique side dish. I haven’t been able to find a recipee that combines the two, but this simple grilled strawberry/balsamic recipee works if you want to do this sweet side dish

Also – I roast fennel (cut in small but chunky pieces) with other summer veggies like peppers, onion, tomato, asparagus, zucini, whole garlic cloves drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little brown sugar for 30-40 minutes on a baking dish. Serve over pasta. Tastes great.


Emma September 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Superb simple recipe. You saved my BBQ, thank you sooooo much!!!

You have got me over my fear of cooking fennel x


katerina September 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Awesome! Try braising it next time, I love braised fennel :)


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