Pickled Roasted Fennel Bulb
Thanks to our relationship with Woodland Pork and Justin Dean, we’re a pretty pork-y place. Grilled pressa, or pulled pork, or sausage shows up a lot at staff lunches. And when we’ve been really really good, Justin will treat us with cured meats—coppa or prosciutto or or or. And then we need pickled acidic treasures to accompany all of that luscious fatty/salty meat.
This is our newest experiment—pickled roasted fennel. Regular old fennel is likely delicious pickled. It’s such a mild crisp vegetable that it would take to pickling really well, but we liked the idea of roasting prior to pickling to bring out some of the natural sugars of fennel.
This recipe is modified just slightly from a recipe we found in Sarah Marshall’s Preservation Pantry—a truly great recipe book for recipes and for inspiration. She’s really committed to using the whole vegetable or fruit in her canning, and we love no waste here at Carriage House Farm.
2 large lemons
6 medium fennel bulbs
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp, plus 3 TBSP kosher salt, divided
1 TBSP honey (Carriage House Farm is obviously our go to)
6 cups white wine vinegar (we only use Mad House White Wine Vinegar)
You can make these as quick pickles and store in the fridge for up to 3 months. But if you would like to pickle and preserve these in your pantry for up to a year, set up your canning station now. By the time your canning pot is boiling, these should be packed and ready to go in the bath.
Wash the skins of the lemons well before slicing. Cut the fronds off the fennel and reserve for dressing or chimichurri or even as a pretty addition to a cut flower arrangement. Wash fennel bulbs thoroughly—paying special attention to the insides of the first two sets of leaves on the bulb as they collect dirt much like leeks do. Cut root as close to the base of the fennel as possible without breaking the leaves apart.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice lemons and fennel into 1/4-inch thick slices—rounds for the lemons, from top to bottom on the flat side of the fennel to make wide disks. Lightly brush both sides of lemons and fennel with olive oil and sprinkle with curry powder and 1 tsp of salt. Lay out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Roast for 20 minutes on one side. Take out, flip them over, and roast for an additional 12 minutes on the other side. Look for both lemons and fennel to look a little withered and lightly browned.
While roasting, prepare the pickling liquid. Mix 6 cups vinegar with 4 cups water, 3 TBSP salt, and a TBSP of honey. Bring to a boil and stir until dissolved, then turn heat to low.
Stack the roasted fennel and lemon slices on end in hot jars. Fill the jars tightly pressing the fennel and lemons against the side of the jar and sliding as much product as possible into the jars. Once filled, pour pickling liquid over the fennel and lemon leaving 1/4 inch of head space in the jar. Put on lid and gently screw on the band.
If quick pickling, allow the jars too cool and then put in the fridge.
If canning, submerge in a boiling canning bath for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pull out and set to cool in a draft free location for a minimum of 6 hours. Check for proper seal once cooled. If sealed, great! If not sealed, put ‘em in the fridge.