Takhlīl al-Shamār al-Akhḍar (Sweet and Sour Pickle of Fresh Fennel, Kanz recipe 591)

An unusual pickle, refreshingly sweet and sour, and scented with rosewater. The recipe recommends eating it after heavy meals because it aids digestion and dispels gastric winds.

1 bulb of fresh fennel, cut into medium pieces (use only the tender parts)

1 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon of each of toasted whole seeds of coriander and caraway

A sprig of mint

1 teaspoon rosewater

Boil the cut fennel in wine vinegar until half-cooked. Drain it, and squeeze out extra moisture (keep the drained vinegar). Prepare the vinegar liquid as follows: Mix the remaining vinegar with sugar, toasted seeds, mint and rosewater.

Put the drained fennel in a container, and pour on it the prepared vinegar liquid. There should be enough to cover the fennel pieces. Cover the container, and set it aside for a week, at room temperature, and use. Refrigerate the remaining amount.

(Makes about 6 servings)

 

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