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?
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