Grilled Fennel with Cherry Tomato and Chive Vinaigrette, and Parmesan

So what is white, bulbous with green stems and has frilly dill-like fronds? Fennel baby! As it looks just a tad bizarre there are many people that aren’t that familiar with it. But hear this VacMasters; fennel is actually a wonderful vegetable with a slightly sweet, anise or licorice flavor that’s strongest when it’s raw but much mellower when it’s cooked.

Grilled Fennel

Wait, a licorice flavored vegetable?! YES! But don't let a childhood aversion to black jelly beans keep you away from this delicious dish. Native to the Mediterranean region, this licorice-flavored member of the parsley family is one of Italy's most popular vegetables.
Now, keep in mind that most fennel recipes call for just the white bulb like this one. But don’t toss the stalks and fronds. The stalks can be used to make stock or chopped and sautéed for soups and stews while the fronds can be added to salads or used as a garnish like we are here.

When shopping look for small, heavy, white bulbs that are firm and free of cracks, browning, or moist areas. The stalks should be crisp, with feathery, bright-green fronds. 

Vacuum sealed fennel

As I mentioned the anise flavor mellows considerably when cooked and as we are cooking sous vide not only does it mellow but it still keeps its shape and dense texture. The final grilling offers delicious dark grill marks which add a lovely charred flavor and perfume to the finished dish. The plating includes an herbaceous and puck-ery tomato vinaigrette and a shower of salty parmesan.

Serve it hot from the grill, room temperature or even chilled - either way this is the vegetable you should be serving this summer!

Grilled Fennel Ingredients


• 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, washed and halved through root

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

• Salt and Pepper to taste

• 1 ounce Parmesan cheese

• For the Cherry Tomato & Chive Vinaigrette:

• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut stem to core

• 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

• 1 large shallots, finely diced

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 1 teaspoon garlic puree

• 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

• 1 tablespoon parsley, flat leaf, finely chopped

• Kosher salt

• Black pepper

• 1/4 cup olive oil, evcp or similar 

Cherry tomato vinaigrette


For the Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette:

1. Place all of the in ingredients for the vinaigrette into a suitable sized bowl except for the olive oil and mix well.

2. Let the vinaigrette base sit for at least one hour or more at room temperature to let the flavors mingle.

3. Whisk in the olive oil and reserve.


1. Heat the VacMaster SV1 to 84C/183ºF

2. Place the prepped fennel halves into a suitable sized VacMaster bag and season with the olive oil and salt.

3. Using a VacMaster chamber machine, vacuum seal the fennel.

4. Carefully place in the water bath of the SV1 and cook 2 to 3 hours or until the bulb is tender.

5. Gently remove the cooked fennel from the bag and blot dry with a paper towel.

6. Preheat a cast iron grill pan or skillet over high heat

7. Rub a bit of olive oil over the cut end of the fennel bulb and place the fennel cut side down onto the hot skillet, searing just one side of each half.

8. Remove the fennel from skillet, and repeat with remaining fennel bulbs.

9. Plate the fennel grilled side up and spoon a bit of the vinaigrette over the fennel and top with freshly grated Parmesan.

10. Serve immediately. 

Fennel on the grill

Grating Parmesan