Pickled Fennel with Orange

(printable recipe) - makes 1 500ml Jar.

Ingredients:

4 Medium Sized Bulbs of fennel, very thinly sliced (a mandoline is useful here).
1 Tsp Fine Sea Salt.
1 Orange for zest cut into thin strips.
6 Tbsp white wine vinegar.
6 Tbsp orange juice.
2 Tbsp sugar.
4 Whole black peppercorns, cracked.
A Couple Sprigs of Fennel Tops (optional).


What to Do:

Toss the sliced fennel in a shallow bowl with the salt. Let them stand for one hour.

Meanwhile, sterilize your jar(s), lid(s), and ring(s). You can do this in a water bath canner if you have one or if you don't just use a very deep wide stock pot with one of those old fashioned metal steamers laid out in the bottom. This will keep the jars off the bottom of the pot so they don't break. Fill the pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Using a pair of tongs with rubber bands wrapped around the ends to prevent slippage, carefully place the jars, lids and rings in the water in batches so they fit comfortably with 1 to 2" of water above the jars and boil/sterilize for about 15 minutes. Carefully lift jars, lids and rings out of the water and set aside on a clean, dry surface. Sterilized!

If any brine exists in the bowl after this time, drain and toss the slices with the orange zest. Pack them into a sterilized pint jar, placing a fennel sprig or two against the side of the jar is using.

In a saucepan, heat the vinegar, orange juice, sugar and peppercorns over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the fennel, leaving 3/4" of head space at the top of the jar.

Secure rims and lids on the jars and place back in the boiling water to ensure seal for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the water and allow to set and cool to room temperature. You may hear a "ping" noise coming from the jars - this is an excellent sign. Once cool, check to make sure the rings have in fact sealed and refrigerate any that don't.

Those that are sealed can be stored for many weeks while any open jars should be used within a week or two.

Eat.

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