Staying Seasonal: Roasted Fennel with Heirloom Tomatoes

I have two rules about grocery shopping:

1) Don’t go when you’re hungry and

2) always make a list.

Going to the grocery store or market for me is like going to a carnival for a kid. It’s a real rush of excitement. But that excitement 100% of the time leads to over spending, and since I’m a kid on a budget I try to avoid that by staying as organized as possible.  I make sure I’m not hungry when I go so I don’t end up with stacks of frozen pizzas (just because the picture on the box looks good) and I make a list so I know I’m leaving with everything I need. But when it comes to produce, I play a wild card game every once in a while. I love going to the farmer’s market without any reconceived notion of what I’m going to make for dinner and I base my purchases solely on what’s gorgeously in season.



It’s late July, so when it comes to seasonal eating we’re really in the thick of something lovely. I went to my farmers’ market today to play the game.  I came home with fennel and some cute little heirloom tomatoes. It made for a really incredible roast.



One fennel bulb sliced
One cup cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt


That’s it. Broil for about 30 minutes in the oven. Eat as is, on a bed of greens with lemon juice, or on Ezekiel bread or pita with a bit of pesto or mustard. It’s so good. But you can choose anything.  It’s always a surprise and it works for every season.  Yes, I have my staple groceries that are always in my pantry, but sticking with seasonal produce always makes for the most beautiful meal.  Enjoy bending the rules.  

You deserve it.



Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

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