A Tour Down the Eaten Path

A Quick Pickle

Maggie: ‘Can you believe Christmas is in a month and a half?!!”

Murph: ‘Or…two and a half months…’

This is a prime example of my recent state of mind. My body is in the here and now but my brain is somewhere out there, further ahead. I’m so preoccupied with planning a few weeks in advance that I have to be careful I don’t forget something that needs be done tomorrow. 

Thanksgiving weekend gave me some much needed time to catch up with family and school work. I was also able to squeeze in some pickled fennel. Ever since trying the Duck confit salad with pickled fennel and mango at Brasserie, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with the salty sweet combination. 

For anyone else out there who feels like they’re on the fast track this fall, making these pickle-y fennel slices is quick and painless. Fennel’s anise flavour is surprisingly perfect when pickled and works well when playing a supporting role in a salad or on a sandwich. A crunchy pickled fennel and mango slaw is great as a side dish but would also be fantastic on fish tacos or a pulled pork sandwich. 

Man, I wish it was still August. Wasn’t it just August? 

Pickled Fennel

1 large fennel bulb

1 cup water

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp agave nectar (can substitute honey)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp mustard seeds

Using a mandoline, shave fennel into very thin strips and place in a 500ml canning jar.

Combine all other ingredients and pour over top of fennel into jar. Seal with a lid and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The pickled fennel can remain in the fridge for up to a week.

Pickled Fennel & Mango Slaw

1/2 a head small green cabbage

1 large fennel bulb, pickled and shaved thinly

1 mango, medium ripeness

1 1/2 Tbls basil, finely chopped

Using a mandoline, shave cabbage and mango. Slice up fennel and shaved mango pieces so that they are relatively similar in size. Toss all vegetables, fruit and herbs into a medium sized bowl and mix by hand. Lightly dress with pickled dressing.

For the Pickled Dressing:

1/8 cup of pickling liquid from fennel

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 1/4 Tbls lemon juice

1 tsp dijon or grainy mustard

1 tsp agave nectar or honey

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.

Recipe and photos by Maggie Murphy