Orange Pickled Fennel

By • December 8, 2009 16 Comments

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Author Notes: Sure, everyone seems to be pickling these days. But can they create that memorable pucker without sodium? This year, health and self care are even hotter topics than usual. So as we prepare for 2010, give a gift that tastes as good in your mouth as it is for your body. Due to my own health needs, I was forced to eliminate salt from my diet. But this never meant that I had to eliminate flavor. Over the past 6 years, I have been determined to create flavorful recipes that defy the odds of salt free cooking - and this pickle recipe is my latest success. The use of flavored vinegar, citrus, and turmeric allows the natural sweet tang of the fennel to really shine. And as a holiday gift, you couldn't find more of a show stopper. The pickled fennel is versatile in its culinary uses (chop up the fennel into a relish for a gourmet home-made burger), it is bright in presentation (almost looks like a snow globe with the floating spices), and it is devilishly impressive even though simple to make. So this holiday season, give a gift that is clearly made with love and is good for the heart.

Sodium Girl

Serves 1 quart mason jar or 3 pint mason jars

  • 2 bulbs of fennel
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 dried chili peppers
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 quart size mason jar (or 3 pint sized jars)
  1. Take two bulbs of fennel, cut off stems, wash, and slice in to crescent shaped spears.
  2. Stuff fennel slices, some of the soft fennel fronds from the stem (packs extra flavor), 3cloves of garlic, and 2 dried chili peppers into mason jar.
  3. Zest the orange and place zest in the mason jar with fennel.
  4. Heat 2 cups of white wine vinegar, 1/2 a cup of sugar, juice from orange, 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard seed, 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric in a pot. Remove from heat once it begins boiling.
  5. Carefully (it’s hot!) fill the mason jar with heated pickling liquid (step 4). The heat tends to reduce the size of the fennel almost immediately, so if you have left over slices, stuff more into the jar.
  6. For added punch, slice fresh ginger and put in jar as well. Once lid is closed, shake it up, allow to cool, and stick it in the fridge. In 2 days, it will be ready for munching. Should stay good for a month if refrigerated.

More Great Recipes: Appetizers|Side Dishes|Snacks|Vegetables|Pickles

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Comments (16) Questions (0)


over 5 years ago Food Blogga

I make an appetizer with sliced fennel, oranges, and olives, so I know I'd love this!


over 5 years ago ginamo

this is going to be such a great gift for family & friends. bonus for being such a simple recipe. thanks!


over 5 years ago ebaribeau

snappy and gorgeous!


over 5 years ago schmalex

Delicious, creative and healthy - yes please!


over 5 years ago dyani

Love it!!! So original and I love all the ingredients! Can't wait to try it!


over 5 years ago schmammie

One of the many great things about this recipe is that it's not sweet - during the holidays I receive and eat so many sweet candies and baked goods which can be a bit overkill. It's wonderful to get and give something new and different.
Delicious, beautiful, unique. Love it!


over 5 years ago jdgold7

I love this - and I don't even like pickled anything!


over 5 years ago kellymb

This looks amazing! I'm very much looking forward to trying it. Thanks, Sodium Girl!


over 5 years ago meganmq

i would have never thought to put fennel and citrus together but this sounds delish! my sisters will love it!


over 5 years ago lola

Not only do they taste and look great, but I watched them being made and it took no time at all!


over 5 years ago LisaAnne

wow! I love the colors and this is truly unique, what a great gift idea!


over 5 years ago waiwa

ok!!! lord knows i need some creative ways to give gifts out this season and i'm always looking for more ways to consume as much fennel as possible. looks delish.


over 5 years ago lorina3

Yum, yum , yum. This sounds awesome. I love fennel and pickled things so I'll definitely be making lots of these foodie gifts...even if I keep them all myself. :-)


over 5 years ago dymnyno

I love fennel...will definitely make this!


over 5 years ago Sodium Girl

Thank you! I love fennel too - such a flavorful vegetable.
I have a few other pickled veggie recipes too on my blog:
that make equally fun gifts!


over 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmmmm, sounds so good! I will definitely have to try this one. Thanks for posting it!!