Roasted Sausage with Fennel and Blood Orange

Roasted Sausage with Fennel and Blood OrangeWhat to Cook After
If you are like me the thought of cooking anything after Thanksgiving sends you into two-year-old tantrum territory. Anything even remotely similar to turkey is a hard no go. During this time the less prep you have to do to get a meal on the table, the better. This is when I turn to sausages.

Sausages are more than breakfast or game day fare. They can be a fast and elegant weeknight meal. My go-to recipe is this one for Sausage and Applesbut sometimes you want to switch things up.

There are plenty of sausage recipes out there. A quick search can pull up hundreds of different ideas. This particular one intrigues me because of the fennel and orange. I like to use blood oranges when they are in season and roasted fennel is always a good idea.

The best part though is that all of this is prepared on one sheet pan, which after the deluge of turkey day dishes, is a great thing….

Roasted Sausage and Fennel with Blood Oranges 
Yields 4 servings 
Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients
2 medium fennel bulbs
1 small red onion
3 sprigs rosemary
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
6 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 1/2 lb. total)
1 blood orange
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt

Directions
Place a rack in the highest position in oven; preheat to 425°F.

Remove and reserve the fennel fronds. Cut the fennel bulbs halved through the root end and slice thinly lengthwise. Slice the red onion in half through the root end and thinly slice the halves lengthwise.

Combine the fennel bulbs, red onion, and rosemary sprigs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat thoroughly. Arrange the sausages on top, spacing evenly and nestle them into the vegetables. Prick each sausage all over with the tip of a paring knife and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast until the sausages are browned on top and cooked through and the fennel is tender and deeply browned in spots (about 25–30 minutes).

While the sausages and fennel are roasting, coarsely chop the reserved fennel fronds (you need about 1/4 cup) and set them aside. Cut the ends off the blood orange to reveal the flesh. Rest the orange upright on a cut side and cut down around orange to remove peel and white pith, rotating it as you go. Discard the peel. Working over a small bowl, hold the blood orange in your hand and cut between the membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze the membranes to extract any remaining juice into a bowl and discard the membranes. Add the vinegar to the orange segments and juice and toss to combine. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Remove baking sheet from oven. Using your hand or a spoon to block segments, pour juices from orange over sausage and fennel mixture. Set orange segments aside and let sausages and fennel mixture cool 5 minutes.

Transfer sausages and fennel mixture to a platter. Crumble rosemary leaves over and scatter reserved orange segments and fennel fronds on top. Season with sea salt and a bit more pepper; drizzle with oil.

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