Dairy Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten Free, Side, Snack, Veggies, Winter

Black Pepper Fennel Pickle

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


  1. Divide the mustard seeds and peppercorns between two 1-quart sized jars.
  2. Trim the fronds from the fennel bulbs, reserve for eating (they are not used in this recipe).
  3. Cut the bulbs in half, then slice thinly into 1/4 inch strips.
  4. Pack the fennel tightly into your jars.
  5. Boil the vinegar, water, lemon juice, and sugar, continuing to cook until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Pour the hot liquid into the jars, over the fennel and allow the contents to cool to room temperature without a lid on top.
  7. 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.