As story goes, fennel is good for healthy vision and sight. I remember days past when hiking through the Central Coast California foothills, smelling the aroma of wild anise. Personally, until I tasted German black licorice, I always detested the smell, flavor, and sight of black licorice, commonly confused with the the flavors of anise. Turns out that the very wild anise that I was dismissing may in fact have been wild fennel. Wild fennel is apparently an invasive species in much of North and South America, South Africa, and parts of Oceania and the British Isles. Check out the USDA Plants Database to see if it’s found near you, cool!
Above the lower plants it towers,
The Fennel with its yellow flowers;
And in an earlier age than ours,
Was gifted with the wondrous powers,
Lost vision to restore.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1892)
Happy Winter! Did you all have today off? I spent my day running errands, packing for vacation, sipping some liquid libations, and hanging out with friends. A few years ago my parents began a tradition of renting a beach house at Emerald Isle, NC. Steadfast in my not-so traditional ways, spending Christmas at the sunshiny beach feels a bit amiss. Nonetheless, I’m heading east tomorrow morning, followed by a quick jaunt down to Charleston, SC. No clue what kind of shenanigans or good life choices I’ll find myself in, but I can guarantee it’ll involve rum, yoga, and some southern charm. I wish you all a safe and happy holidays. Till 2017, thanks as always for Putting Up with Erin. 🙂
- 1 pound fresh fennel (without fronds)
- 1 oz fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp Chinese Five Spice
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbs pickling, kosher, or sea salt
- 1 Tbsp coriander seed
- Clean fennel bulbs, chop off stalks, slice bulbs into 1/4-1/2' inch thick slices.
- In a medium-sized, non-reactive pot, combine vinegar, salt, five spice, and coriander seeds. Bring to a just a boil.
- Add sliced fennel to vinegar mixture. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 5 minutes.
- Add fresh cilantro to the bottom of prepared (clean and sterilized) jar. Pack fennel pieces into jar on top of the cilantro. Pour vinegar mixture atop fennel and cilantro, leaving 1/2' inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight). Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner, let cool on folded towel for 12-24 hours.
- Let rest in a cool, dry place for at least 3 weeks before consumption.