Fermented Fennel Chutney Recipe

Preserve your health with the flavor of fennel and your favorite herbs in this delicious, fermented chutney that you can enjoy year-round.


fennel-bulb
Photo by Getty Images/Sabinoparente

Yield: 1 pint.

This flavorful ferment is made with easy-to-grow herbs with anti-inflammatory and liver-supporting properties that help balance your digestive system. In our modern world, out-of-sync digestion is common, due to our stress-filled lifestyles. To help your system perform better, enjoy a small serving before or with meals.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bulbs fennel, stalks and core removed, sliced finely crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh turmeric root, or 1 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon dried dandelion root, or 3 tablespoons washed and finely minced fresh root
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1/4 cup dried apple slices, cut into smaller chunks

Instructions:

  1. Place the sliced fennel, grated ginger and turmeric roots, and dandelion in a medium bowl. If the dandelion root is dried and the pieces are large, pulse it quickly in a spice grinder or blender to break into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the pepper and fennel seed. Sprinkle the salt into the bowl, and massage it into the mixture to release the juices. Add the dried apple pieces. The mixture should be moist.
  3. Press the mixture into your favorite fermentation vessel. Follow the instructions that come with the vessel. Otherwise, use a pint jar, or choose a jar that’s just the right size, meaning you’ll have only an inch of airspace at the top. As you press the mixture into the jar, there should be only a small amount of brine. Don’t worry if it “disappears” between pressings. As long as the chutney is damp, you have enough.
  4. Once you’ve pressed down the chutney — releasing any air pockets — press a piece of wax paper against the surface of the chutney, trying not to trap any air. Screw a lid tightly on the jar.
  5. Put the jar in a kitchen corner to cure. Watch for air pockets forming in the paste. If you see them, open the lid and press the paste back down. If the lid starts to bubble up, briefly open it to “burp” the ferment.
  6. Let the paste ferment for 7 days. You’ll know it’s ready when the ferment is dull in color and has a slight pickle flavor. During storage, the less airspace above a ferment, the longer it’ll last. Fill the jars to the rim, and transfer the ferment to smaller jars as you use it. Keep wax paper directly on top of the paste to prevent evaporation and contamination. Tighten the lids and store in the fridge for up to a year.

 To learn more about the benefits of fermented foods, read “Function, Flavor, and Fermentation” and become a member of Fermentation magazine.




Kirsten K. Shockey is the co-author of several books, including Fermented Vegetables and Fiery Ferments. Follow her on Instagram @Ferment.Works or at Ferment.Works.

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