Photo: Danny Kim. Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

There’s no mistaking the aromatic flavor of the fennel plant or its breath-freshening seeds. But when roasted to a plush softness, as in this easy recipe from the Meatball Shop’s Daniel Holzman, the taste becomes sweeter and milder, the perfect foil for a crunchy condiment of fruit, nuts, and a generous squeeze of lemon.

Daniel Holzman’s Roasted Fennel With Raisins, Walnuts, and Parsley

4 fennel bulbs
4 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped raisins
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 450. (1) Remove stalks from fennel bulbs, and trim bottoms. (2) Slice the fennel into 1/2-inch-thick wedges, leaving core intact so each wedge coheres. Place fennel in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (3) Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 cup water. Roast until the fennel is soft and fully cooked, the edges slightly brown and crisp, and the water completely evaporated, from 45 minutes to an hour (adding water if necessary). While the fennel is cooking, combine the walnuts, raisins, parsley, the remaining olive oil and salt, and lemon juice to taste in a small bowl. Mix well to ensure oil coats everything evenly. Remove fennel from oven and arrange on a large serving platter. Top with the raisin mixture; serves 4 to 6. Adapted from The Meatball Shop Cookbook (Ballantine Books; November 2011), by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow with Lauren Deen.