Every part of the fennel bulb is edible, and the roots, bulb, shoots, fronds and seeds all carry the same intoxicating, aniseedy fragrance in varying intensities. It is not everybody’s favourite flavour vegetable, but I have not yet found a person who does not love this jam.
The fennel is cooked down with vinegar and brown sugar until it is sweet, jammy and sticky. You can use the jam with either savoury or sweet applications. The whole bulb is used – there is no waste at all. The jam goes perfectly in sandwiches, on toast, with cheese, topping a base of potato, polenta or cauliflower puree, or as part of a tapas or mezze table. Or just use as a chutney.
The recipe originates from The Guardian, and we’ve adopted and adapted it as a family favourite.
Choose fennel bulbs with stems and fronds intact if you can. Use the fronds as a herb: elevate a salad with them, add to salsa verde, add it to your cooling drinks, or chop and sprinkle over any dish to add an unmistakable fennel aroma.