Grilled Fennel (Finocchi Grigliati)

You may have noticed I’ve been posting less lately, and that is because we’ve been having such extraordinary good weather. Summer in the Netherlands tends to be a hit and miss affair with often ‘four seasons in one day’, but this year we’ve been having no rain, sunshine every day, and temperatures around 25C/75F. And so rather than cooking and blogging, we spend most of our free time on our boat. Where I do prepare food, but most of that is on the charcoal grill (barbecue), and I’ve already shared most of the recipes I use before.

Since we’re eating so much from the charcoal grill, I have been looking into vegetables that can be prepared this way. Fennel turns out to be a big hit!

The only things you need besides fennel are olive oil and salt. And a charcoal grill, obviously.

The trick is to slice the fennel in such a way that the trunk holds the slices together. First cut it in halves as shown.

Then slice it thinly, about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick.

There will be some outer slices that are less suitable for grilling (although not impossible). You could use those outer slices to make a fennel salad by chopping them finely and dressing with extra virgin olive oil and salt (and perhaps a tiny bit of minced garlic).

Brush the fennel slices with olive oil on both sides.

Then put them above hot charcoal. It is easiest to use a grilling basket that is suitable for such thin slices.

Keep grilling and turning them until they are nicely caramelized. This adds a lot of flavor.

Season with salt before serving.

Although grilled fennel is an Italian preparation, it works very well with Japanese yakitori chicken that can be prepared on the same grill. As a wine pairing, either a Viognier (especially Condrieu, if you like to splurge) or a dry Gewurztraminer from Alto Adige (Italy) is wonderful with the combination of yakitori chicken and grilled fennel.



Many recipes for ice cream require egg yolks. What to do with the leftover egg whites? This ‘pizza’ made from egg whites with a tomato sauce and tuna is a great idea. It is high in protein and low in carbs and fats, so great if you are working on your beach body.


9 thoughts on “Grilled Fennel (Finocchi Grigliati)

  1. We are frying over here in Ontario this summer, with temperatures over 30C and no rain all of July. Also humid. But that hasn’t kept us inside. We love barbecuing nearly every day. I personally love fennel and will buy some to grill on your recommendation. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Really nice. That’s one beautiful charcoal grill! My husband has refused to ever use a gas grill. He’s a traditionalist. I agree, except sometimes for small amounts, and with time a factor, I wish I had a small gas grill… Maybe I can get one and hide it from him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with your husband on this. Charcoal (and I mean actual charcoal, not briquettes) burns hotter and provides more flavor than gas. If you light charcoal the Kees way, it is ready to go very soon. (He uses lighting fluid and puts the grill in the wind. When there is no wind, an old blow dryer does an excellent job. We do have a small charcoal grill for small amounts.)


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