My sister once called fennel a snooty vegetable and I have, ever since, been on a crusade to defend its good name. In this recipe the floral bulbs spend ample time in a bath of vinegar and pepper until they are suffused with a bracing flavor. Put this out on the table while you fix cocktails for your guests, it's the perfect accompaniment for a cold drink.
- 2 heads Fennel (~1.5 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon Black Mustard Seed
- 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns (whole)
- 1 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 cups Water
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 1/3 cup Palm Sugar
- Divide the mustard seeds and peppercorns between two 1-quart sized jars.
- Trim the fronds from the fennel bulbs, reserve for eating (they are not used in this recipe).
- Cut the bulbs in half, then slice thinly into 1/4 inch strips.
- Pack the fennel tightly into your jars.
- Boil the vinegar, water, lemon juice, and sugar, continuing to cook until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour the hot liquid into the jars, over the fennel and allow the contents to cool to room temperature without a lid on top.
- Once cooled, screw on the lids and put the jars in your fridge for at least four days. The pickles will continue to improve in flavor over the course of a week, they can be kept in your fridge for about two weeks.