Treat your family to a delicious, sheet pan dinner featuring fresh, local, in season apples.
Apples, fennel, and sausages are ideal accompaniments for each other, balancing sweet with spicy. The best of their flavours is even intensified as they roast, creating the ultimate in simple, satisfying comfort food.
15 minPrep Time
55 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 550g (20 oz) fingerling potatoes, washed
- 1 fennel bulb, 510g (18 oz), stalks cut off, outer layer removed, bulb halved lengthwise and cut 2.5cm (1-inch) wedges - fennel fronds washed, dried, and reserved for garnish.
- 4 x 227g (8-oz) Ontario Honeycrisp Apples, cut into 2.5cm (1-inch) wedges
- 400g-600g (14-21 oz) hot bambino sausages
- 2 x 285g (10 oz) red onions, cut into 2.5cm (1-inch) wedges
- 6-8 thyme sprigs
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F, with a rack in the middle position.
- Add potatoes to a saucepan, cover with 2.5cm (1-inch) of cold water, add ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and cool.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to manage, slice into 1.25cm (1/2-inch) ovals. Toss the potato slices with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, paprika and cayenne.
- Place the potato slices in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Toss the fennel wedges with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice. Then place in a single layer alongside the potatoes.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, flipping once.
- Toss together apples, onions, thyme, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, ½ salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Mix the apple mixture with the fennel and potatoes. Spread out into a single layer on the baking sheet. Nestle the sausages into the mixture.
- Roast until sausage is cooked through, and the apples are just tender, about 25-30 minutes, flipping 2-3 times.
- Sprinkle with fennel fronds and/or parsley and serve.
Notes from James:
Use a large enough baking sheet that the mixture can be spread out in a single layer (or use two smaller sheets).
Substitute larger sausages if bambino sausages are not available.
Other apple varieties work great in this recipe too. Try Ambrosia, Cortland, Idared, Macintosh or Northern Spy.
I love cooking with Ontario Apples, which rank among the best in the world, due to the amazing growing conditions. The three Great Lakes moderate temperatures, creating warm sunny days and cool nights, ideal for the growth of these tasty wonders of nature. And thanks to cold storage, Ontario Apple Growers can supply us with fresh crisp Ontario apples from September through March. With a few of the twenty varieties grown here, available right up until July! To keep the crunch in your Ontario apples at home, store them in perforated plastic bags in your refrigerator crisper. Cold, humid storage ensures that apples maintain their crispness, juicy texture, and full flavour.
I grew up with the adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” And the research suggests that eating apples may assist with reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, asthma, and even Alzheimer’s.
So, next time you are in the grocery store, pick up some Ontario apples. For the good of our local economy and your health!
Find more from James here.