TASTY Quick Pickled Fennel!

Quick Pickled Fennel

Everyone needs a quick pickle recipe up their sleeve! Quick pickles or fridge pickles are a super quick way of using up fresh vegetables that is also perfect for a small amount of vegetables; you only need one bulb's worth of fennel for this pickled fennel. This pickling method doesn't require any boiling and lasts for a month in the fridge. These fennel pickles goes so well with so many dishes!

For those new to pickling and the new pickling craze this the best pickle recipe to start on. These take 10 minutes to make tops and they don't require any special skills or equipment. The best way to make them is when you have small amount of vegetables that you don't quite know what to do with. Quick pickles can only be stored in the fridge for 1 month which is the trade off (which is why they're ideal for a small amount of vegetables).

This came about because I often get vegetables in my vege box that I'm not quite ready for. Like my mind sometimes thinks, "No I can't deal with that now". Often times I'll oven roast them with salt and olive oil but other times, especially when I have people over, I make a quick pickle. They are wonderful accompaniments to dishes, especially rich winter dishes, cheese plates or salads. I cannot overstate how delicious this pickled fennel is in salads. It really amps up a simple baby spinach or green salad!

Quick Pickled Fennel

Serve this quick fennel pickle with: salads, deep fried cheese, fried chicken, pates, conservas platters, charctuerie platters, terrines and cheese plates.

The secret ingredient to crunchy pickles are bay leaves! Bay leaves have tannins in them that prevent the vegetable cell walls from breaking down making sure that you end up with crunchy pickles. If you don't have bay leaves you can use tea leaves or grape leaves but bay leaves aree asy to find and easy to remove from the pickle and add a nice flavour to them.

You can do fridge pickles with other vegetables Try chilli, carrot slices, asparagus, celery, cabbage, beetroot, onion, green beans (blanch first).

Other flavours you can pickle with: you can add slices of garlic, ginger, fresh or dried herbs or chilli.

My pickling solution is quite sweet and vinegary but I like Asian style pickles that tend to be on the sweeter side. If you like it less sweet, feel free to use less sugar but really you don't eat the pickling solution so you don't end up eating that much sugar.

Quick Pickled Fennel

I took some of these quick pickles on our recent holiday because I wanted to make a lot of salads and grazing platters. The aim of this holiday was to relax so I also decided to book in for a massage. It had been months since my last one and my nexk was stiff as was my back and I'm sure the long drive didn't help either.

I booked in at a local spa. It was quite an alternative one and the masseuse showed me into the room. She was quite friendly but something was a bit off that I couldn't put my finger on.

Do you ever sometimes get a vibe about a person, that maybe your encounter with them is a battle of wills? I got that with her. She seeemed annoyed that I hadn't taken off my fine gold chain (it isn't meant to be taken off) and pulled at it hooking her fingers under it as she massaged my neck.

It was freezing cold with the air conditioning and so I asked her if we could turn it off. "I'll turn it down," she said and pressed a button although this seemed like it had no effect. A few minutes later I mentioned that it still seemed cold and she did the same, to very little effect. Not wanting to be rude I buried myself under the blankets. I felt as though she was counting down every minute until this massage was over, sort of like I was.

It wasn't the most relaxing massage I've had and thinking back it was certainly the oddest, most aggressive massage that I've had. But at least I had an easy lunch to eat when I got back as I assembled a grazing board with some of this pickled fennel. And as I picked up the wooden board, I felt a twinge of pain in my shoulder. But there was no way that I was going to book in another massage with her!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever feel like you're ever locked in a battle of wills with another person? Have you ever had a terrible massage? And do you like pickles?

Quick Pickled Fennel

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1/2 onion, peeled
  • 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup/110g/3.9ozs. caster or superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

Tips: make sure to use tongs and clean your jars and lids well with hot, soapy water and rinse well. This keeps for 1 month in the fridge.

Step 1 - First make the pickling mixture. Stir the vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. Place in a sterilised pickling jar with the pink peppercorns.

Quick Pickled Fennel

Step 2 - Cut the tops off the fennel (you can use these in soup) reserving some of the fronds. If there are any discoloured bits remove them with a vegetable peeler. Cut the fennel in quarters and remove the triangular core. Slice in a mandolin. Then mandolin the half onion.

Quick Pickled Fennel

Step 3 - Mix so that the onion and fennel slices are combined, then add to the pickling jar with the bay leaf (I like putting a leaf against the glass). Make sure that the vegetables are completely submerged. Ideally leave this for 24 hours before eating.

Quick Pickled Fennel

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