Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Saving Fennel seeds

The other day I wrote that I was not planning to save any Fennel seed this year, because we had plenty of it still in the kitchen cupboard. Since then I have changed my mind. We went to use some and found that what we had was stale and had lost most of its aroma - time for a re-stocking I think.

I only have two Fennel plants, but they are quite big, and Fennel produces a lot of seeds. This one is top-heavy with the weight of its seeds:-


Harvesting was a snip. No, literally: "a snip"! Two minutes' worth of work with a pair of secateurs, cutting off and collecting the seeds-heads. Here you see them arranged in a bowl simply for photography purposes. Since then they have been put into a paper bag and placed in the airing-cupboard to dry. [Don't use a plastic bag for this - it will sweat and the seeds will go mouldy.]


It will probably take about 10 - 14 days for the seeds to be completely dry. Then I will strip them off the flower-heads and store them in an airtight jar.


Fennel seeds are used a lot in Italian cuisine, especially as an ingredient in salami, but it is also used in many recipes for the great British Black Pudding. In Indian cuisine they are often coated in garishly-coloured sugar and offered as a "mukhwa" or digestif to eat whilst drinking tea or coffee after a big meal.

11 comments:

  1. I agree that fennel produces lots of seeds - we have self sown bronze fennel babies all over the plot.

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  2. Fennel is great, it tastes good and the plants are so generous with their seeds. That reminds me, I've got a volunteer in the garden that is covered with seeds - time to go snip.

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  3. I am definitely going to have to grow fennel.

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  4. I love those little sugar coated fennel seeds - yummy. I use them quite often in curries too.

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  5. You should be able to harvest plenty of seeds from your plants, it looks like they're covered in them. Thank you for your comment on my blog, it means a lot. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it's good news next week.

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  6. Having spent years being over-run by self-seeded fennel, I grabbed the opportunity when we moved a year ago to have a fennel-free garden. Oh how I miss fennel... I would never have guessed that 12 months without it would leave me suffering from fennel seed envy!

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  7. have you grown fennel bulb before? i'd like to try it out.

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    1. Hi Taylor; I did try once, but the results were poor and until recently I was not keen on eating Fennel anyway so I didn't persevere. Now I hve realised that it can be nice if treated properly. BTW I tried to comment on your blog, but Blogger wouldn't let me. I wanted to say how impressed I was with your giant Celeriac. I have grown that a couple of times, but the best one I got was about half the size of your prize specimen.

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    2. yeah im not sure what i did with that celeriac! my other ones are half the size and most were eaten by something? its wierd about the blogger issue, not sure what that's about. but thanks for trying! hopefully it will sort itself out?
      fennel must be one of my favourite flavours, i like it especially shaved in salads with beetroot, orange and mint.
      im going to make space for it next year... im already planning for next spring!

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  8. I'm still hoping to do this but my plants don't look ready yet. Thanks for the post on this.

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  9. It looks really amazing!! I have to try it!! Thanks for sharing :-)
    sesame seeds
    fennel seeds

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