Roasted Fennel and Anchovies on Rosemary Polenta Recipe [Video]

As a Canadian, I’ve never celebrated American Thanksgiving before. By the time American Thanksgiving rolls around, I’m usually all turkey, pie, and gravy-ed out. This year was a little different.

Anthony of Farmstead Wines and InevitableTable graciously invited me to his American Thanksgiving dinner. In preparation for the evening, he slaughtered a 200 lb pig two days prior to feed a houseful of hungry guests.

In attendance were food enthusiasts and contributors to our local collaborative food site,

Following the pre-dinner’s counter space jostling, pot and pans scrubbing, stovetop sharing, wine spilling, and all forms of laughter amidst chaos, an amazing spread of food gathered us in awe and appreciation.

Fennel: the star of the day

Fennel is a delightful winter vegetable that can add crunch and liven up any salad or lend a sweet, creamy hand to comfort dishes. After roasting in the oven, it becomes deeply caramlized and tender and makes the ideal topping to pan-fried polenta slices.

Rosemary polenta cut and ready for frying

For this month’s Beet ‘n Squash YOU! Battle Fennel, I created this recipe as an hors d’œuvre for Thanksgiving. A round-up of the submissions and the winners will be announced on Monday, December 7th.

Just for kicks and to step it up a notch, I created my first instructional video. This wasn’t easy so please go easy on me :) I hope that you enjoy it.

Roasted fennel mingling with anchovies and garlic

Roasted Fennel and Anchovies on Rosemary Polenta


Rosemary Polenta

  • 1 cup of polenta
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • several sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • s&p


  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 can of anchovy filets
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1 cup of olives
  • olive oil

  1. December 03, 2009 by Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

    This is a terrific sophisticated recipe. I love the idea of anchovies sauteed with fennel. Yum!

  2. December 03, 2009 by Brad

    Sounds like a great gathering of food and foodies. Thanks for sharing the experience. i’m looking forward to seeing the winning fennel recipe.

  3. December 03, 2009 by Liz Marr, MS, RD

    Sounds divine. Beautiful photos.

  4. December 03, 2009 by Stan

    Why didn’t I think of such a simple recipe for polenta…will be trying them once i get the polenta. The only ingredient that I am not keen of eating is anchovies, guess I might replace it with something else

  5. December 03, 2009 by candice

    Love the creativity in this dish. The rosemary polenta is something I’ll definitely have to try. :]

  6. December 03, 2009 by Fran

    Mel, you did a GREAT job on the video! It’s easy to follow, the music was nice and you sounded confident. I’m impressed at your first attempt!

  7. December 03, 2009 by Melody Fury (admin)

    Thanks, Fran :) that’s so encouraging. Making a video is pretty intimating business for me! I didn’t feel comfortable with my voice or being in front of the camera too much… but it takes practice I guess.

  8. December 04, 2009 by Kevin

    What a professional looking video! Hate the smell of fennel, but polenta is yums.

  9. December 04, 2009 by Marisa

    Great recipe! And I’m loving the video idea – such fun to peek into someone else’s kitchen. Btw – LOVING your kitchen. Makes mine look even more dingy though. :-/

  10. December 04, 2009 by Alta

    I’m digging that polenta! Of course, the fennel and anchovies certainly helps! Delish.

  11. Magnificent recipe & video… I just love fennel, polenta and rosemary!

  12. December 04, 2009 by Anna

    Beautiful picture, and rosemary polenta must be very yummy. Lovely video.

  13. December 04, 2009 by wasabi prime

    beautiful recipe — a lot of distinctive flavors, but a skilled way of putting them together to create something really complex and enjoyable. Fennel is a really fun thing to play around with — its flavor even works in cocktails!

  14. December 04, 2009 by Jessica

    very elegant dish, I love the little flecks of rosemary in the polenta

  15. December 04, 2009 by Rose

    CUTE VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh!!! I love it! You did a fantastic job! That recipe looks perfect. I crave polenta at an alarming rate. This looks wonderful.

  16. December 04, 2009 by Kian

    I love every one of the flavors in this recipe. Sounds absolutely delicious.

  17. December 04, 2009 by Nastassia Johnson

    How amazing! You are so tech savvy and this video makes it so easy to make this recipe at home! Great post can’t wait to try this recipe!

  18. December 05, 2009 by Lea @ Little Rock Wedding

    Wonderful video and post.. thanks for sharing..

  19. December 05, 2009 by French Cooking for Dummies

    You did a great job on the video :-D Amazing pictures and… OMG, wonderful creation! I have some fennel left from the battle and I’m thinking of trying your recipe tonight… I’ll let you know how it went ;-)

  20. December 05, 2009 by Oui, Chef

    Love your video, the recipe, and your method for cooking polenta. I’ve never heard of polenta being finished in the oven like you do, and think it a brilliant idea. Do you always cook it that way? – S

  21. December 05, 2009 by Melody Fury (admin)

    Hi Oui, Chief- The great thing about finishing polenta in the oven is there’s less chance of it sticking and burning at the bottom of the pot. It’s worked wonderfully every time. Thanks for the kind comment!

  22. December 05, 2009 by The Saucy Coq

    Melody, great recipe and video. I never cook with polenta but am loving what’s going on in this recipe. I’ve bookmarked this and will let you know how it goes.

    Thanks! Avid visitor to your site!

  23. December 05, 2009 by pierre

    Hi mel I see you are going good and this polenta looks so good to me bravo la chef !! Cheers from Paris where it rains today !
    have you recovered from E frachon adventure ? pierre

  24. December 06, 2009 by we are never full

    this topping would be great on pasta – and pizza or flatbread. loving the sweetness of the fennel and the saltiness of the anchovy. great pics.

  25. December 06, 2009 by Ken

    Hi Mel,
    I don’t know much about cooking, you know, but I love cooking shows and I know a LOT about video editing and production. So, as someone who knows a lot more about eating food than about preparing it, I have to say it looks delicious. As someone who does know a lot about making videos, I have to say you did a great job. There are a couple things I could nit-pick about (if you want to know what those are, message me on Facebook), but it really is a good video, especially when you consider that you managed to cram everything we needed to know into just 4 minutes. It was a very efficient use of time and it was both entertaining and informative. Most important, the joy you get from cooking comes through. I feel like I could make Roasted Fennel and Anchovies on Rosemary Polenta after watching your video. Awesome work! Keep it up!

  26. December 07, 2009 by Daphne

    I like your blog and your creativity!

  27. December 07, 2009 by Hélène

    I love the idea of celebrating two Thanksgiving. We have American friends that lives on the Island and it’s always a feast at their place for Thanksgiving. Love your recipes and delicious pictures!

  28. December 09, 2009 by Jamie G. Dougherty (JAMIE|LIVING)

    Melody you did such a good job. Really! I’ve made a number of videos in my time and you were very easy to listen to and gave great instruction. As for the dish, I don’t even need the polenta. Just give me a plate of the fennel and anchovies. Delicious! If you ever want to chat about video making, just let me know ;) Enjoy!

  29. January 26, 2010 by Jeannie

    Great video and very precised clear narration. Love it!

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