Fennel and Orange Pickle
The beautiful thing about fennel is that it can be used ‘nose to tail’. You can use the stalks and leaves as a herb, the seeds as a spice, and the bulb as a vegetable. It is characterised by its strong aniseed flavour and this recipe celebrates that by matching it with the notes of orange. This is a delight when served with a whole fish, wrapped in foil and baked. Try it with plaice, gurnard or haddock.
|50g||golden granulated sugar|
|2||oranges, zest only|
|½||lemon, zest only|
|1 ½ tsp||yellow mustard seeds|
|1 tsp||chilli flakes|
|½ tsp||black peppercorns|
|1 ½ tsp||sea salt|
|8-10||fennel leaves (reserved from fennel above)|
Prepare the fennel bulbs by topping and tailing them, cutting off the stalks and keeping some leaves for garnish. Finely slice the bulbs, either with a mandoline or sharp knife. Finely chop (and deseed if you like) the chillies.
Combine all the remaining ingredients (including the chopped chillies), except any reserved fennel leaves, in a medium, stainless steel pan and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the spices have infused.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Tightly pack the fennel slices into warm, dry sterilised jars 1 cm from the rim then gently tap the jars to remove any air bubbles. Top up with brine if necessary.
Add a couple of the reserved fennel leaves to each jar and seal.
Can be eaten within a few days or store sealed in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks to marinate.
Keeps for up to 4-6 months unopened. Once opened, keep in the fridge and eat within 4 weeks.
Season: spring to early autumn
How to Eat: with a mozzarella or burrata salad or serve as a condiment with whole steamed white fish.