Weekend Recipe | Fennel and Orange Pickle

Fennel and Orange Pickle, The Modern Preserver

From chutneys to cordials, the new trend for preserving can be found bubbling away on a stove near you. Kylee Newton of preserves company Newton and Pott shares a delicious autumnal recipe that makes a sweet, spicy side with a citrus zing…

Fennel and Orange Pickle

The beautiful thing about fennel is that it can be used ‘nose to tail’. You can use the stalks and leaves as a herb, the seeds as a spice, and the bulb as a vegetable. It is characterised by its strong aniseed flavour and this recipe celebrates that by matching it with the notes of orange. This is a delight when served with a whole fish, wrapped in foil and baked. Try it with plaice, gurnard or haddock.

Season: spring to early autumn

Makes 3 x 300ml jars or 1 x 1 litre jar


3 fennel bulbs

4 bird’s-eye chillies

400ml cider vinegar

150ml water

50g golden granulated sugar

2 oranges, zest only

½ lemon, zest only

1 ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds

1 tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp black peppercorns

1 ½ tsp sea salt

8-10 fennel leaves (reserved from fennel above)


  • Prepare the fennel bulbs by topping and tailing them, cutting off the stalks and keeping some leaves for garnish. Finely slice the bulbs, either with a mandoline or sharp knife. Finely chop (and deseed if you like) the chillies.
  • Combine all the remaining ingredients (including the chopped chillies), except any reserved fennel leaves, in a medium, stainless steel pan and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the spices have infused.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  • Tightly pack the fennel slices into warm, dry sterilised jars 1 cm from the rim then gently tap the jars to remove any air bubbles. Top up with brine if necessary.
  • Add a couple of the reserved fennel leaves to each jar and seal.
  • Can be eaten within a few days or store sealed in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks to marinate.
  • Keeps for up to 4-6 months unopened. Once opened, keep in the fridge and eat within 4 weeks.

Eat with a mozzarella or burrata salad or serve as a condiment with whole steamed white fish.

Recipe taken from The Modern Preserver: Chutneys, James, Pickles and More by Kylee Newton (£20, Square Peg)

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