I have been fiddling around a lot with baked goods of late, to the chagrin of my insides, I think. I have had a few Fennel recipes in the works but this week I am posting an adaptation of Sorella‘s Fermented Fennel, which is featured in many of the London based Italian Bistro’s entrees. My husband loves licorice and although I do not enjoy the sweet treat and couldn’t anyway, I do love the vegetable roasted in cast iron along with a menagerie of other vegetables.
As a disclaimer this is a simplified version and a sort of “review” of their recipe as I wanted to try it out and as I happened to have a leftover bottle of white wine kicking around (I don’t drink white) I thought I would give it a shot. I did not toast any dried chilis or seeds (or even add the latter) and I subbed pomace oil for extra virgin olive oil. The result was still delectable and I encourage you to give it a shot. I am going to use it as a base for ragù one of these nights…
- 4 fennel bulbs (with stalks) rinsed, bulbs quartered and cut into chunks, stalks chopped in 1/2′ – 1″ sections
- 1/4 cup fermented onion juice from a previous batch (optional)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3/4-1 cup white wine
- 1-2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 lemon peel, pulp removed (I actually used 2 halves fermented lemon rind from a batch of water kefir)
- 3% salt (I ended up using 3 3/4 Tbsp kosher salt)
- 2 bay leaves (I used ones from the garden but dried are okay)
- extra virgin olive oil for the top
- Fermenting weight or small jar, sanitized
- 68oz mason or big pickle jar
- Wash all vegetables and sanitize jar, fermenting weight and lid in the oven at 175 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Wash hands and prepare vegetables. With this type of ferment I like to toss them together in a large bowl before I stuff them into the jar. Weigh the empty jar if you are adding salt by percentage. Note the weight. Add non-chlorinated water or fermenting liquid if needed.
- Calculate salt percentage by weight and add to the jar.
- Cover with extra virgin olive oil to keep the bacteria out.
- Set in the fermenting weight, close the lid and leave to ferment for 2 weeks or longer.
As a mom of three high energy children I usually need to do these ferments in under 30 minutes, including interruptions and this one was accomplished as hoped. The flavor is just gorgeous with the olive oil mixed in. Enjoy!