( MAKES 2, 1-litre jars )
Photo by Tam West
The beauty of fennel is that you can use it seed to root to leaf. Consuming it “nose to tail” means you can make the most of this vegetable without wasting one bit. Fennel is fantastic pickled. Try adding this recipe to salads or as a side accompanying your main meal — its strong aniseed flavour makes a great match for several dishes. Mix through a salad for a tart crisp bite, or place on top of a whole fish when baking in foil.
- Wash and rinse your jars and place in a low oven, about 100C, for at least 20 minutes.
- Make your brine by placing all the ingredients, apart from the fennel, into a pan and gently warming until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Wash the fennel, cut off the stalks and leaves and slice the whole bulbs into ½ cm strips with a mandoline. Chop up the stalks and keep the leaves.
- Arrange the sliced bulbs with the chopped stalks and leaves neatly in the warm sterilised jars, to about 1cm from the rim of the jar.
- Fill each jar with the brine, making sure you cover the fennel completely. Tap out any trapped air bubbles and refill with the brine to about ½ cm from the rim, and seal.
- Label, date and pickle for at least 1 week before eating. Will keep sealed for up to 12 months but once opened keep in the fridge and eat within 2-3 months.