This recipe for grilled carrots, fennel and onions with sesame oil and thyme is a big favorite. You could say that it’s like a salad, although you use really large pieces of root vegetables. I use red onions that are cut into wedges, carrots that I cut into sticks and a quartered fennel head.

I grill all this in a grill basket with steel mesh and the whole thing is seasoned with sesame seeds, thyme, sesame oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Really simple and very tasty—perfect when you want to make the whole dinner on the grill! 

The addition of sesame oil makes it taste divine, while the sesame seeds make it look appealing and add additional nuttiness.

Grilled Side Dishes

Serve the grilled vegetables with, for example, a soya burger or a large plump portobello mushroom  Then just add a good dressing or sauce of your choice to it all. If you have your own crops, you can naturally take your vegetables from these. I tried to grow carrots this summer but in the shadow of all the cabbages that grew around them, I ended up with orange threads. 

On the other hand, my onions did really well this year, and next summer I thought I would try fennel. After all, there is something very special about growing your own—they taste so good. 

Grilled Carrots, Fennel and Onions With Sesame Oil and Thyme

For: 4 people


  • 3 carrots
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 fennel head (approx. 12 oz)
  • rapeseed oil
  • 3 tbsp peeled sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp fresh, grated thyme
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt, pepper


  • Peel and cut the carrots into sticks about an inch and a half long. Boil a saucepan of water and pre-cook the carrots for 4-5 minutes, then drain.
  • Slice off the ends of the onions and cut them into large wedges. Cut the fennel head into 4 large wedges lengthwise. Distribute onions, fennel and carrots in a barbecue basket and brush over a little rapeseed oil here and there—especially on the fennel. 
  • Grill until everything softens—it usually takes at least 30 minutes depending on the temperature. Turn the vegetables in the basket from time to time and make sure that the fennel is cooked all around.
  • Put the grilled vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds and grated thyme. Drizzle over sesame oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

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