Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

August 3, 2012


It’s Wild Fennel Time

When I look in my bathroom mirror I can see the reflection of huge wild fennel plants growing on the hill behind my house. There they are with their yellow flowers swaying gently in the wind. I made my first venture out to collect fennel flowers this week with thoughts of drying and them and having my very own stash of fennel pollen, for free!

You can purchase fennel pollen if you can find it, but it’s pricey (Zingerman’s some times has it for $30 for 1.5 oz). I have an unlimited supply of flowers at my disposal, however once the flowers have dried, it’s sort of a tedious task to separate the pollen from the plant. Last year I had them laid out on cardboard in my office, waiting for them to dry. When I finally got around to the task of shaking the pollen off the plants it ended up taking a lot longer than I expected. Obviously it was worth the trouble because I’m doing it once again.

Fennel pollen is some pretty incredible stuff. Mix it with some salt and sprinkle it on a chicken that you’re going to roast. It’s amazing on pork, in fact it’s a match made in heaven. Whenever I walk by my office there’s a wonderful scent of fennel wafting by and I can’t wait until it’s time to harvest the pollen. I think I should go out and pick some more. My only regret is that I’m not in a field in Tuscany snipping off the flowering buds.


10 thoughts on “It’s Wild Fennel Time

  1. I have been meaning to do this for some time but keep forgetting to. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I hope there is some left when I get to Italy in a month.

  3. MMmmmm….One of my favourite flavours Janie. How lucky you are. Must be all the more delicious when do all the prep yourself too. I love your little Tuscan moments. Just close your eyes and take a deep breath. 😉 xx

  4. We bought some at Conti in the Mercado Centrale in Florence. It is just heavenly! You are SO right – put some on the outside of pork and grill it…yummy! I am jealous you have it growing wild, but can’t imagine actually “harvesting” that tiny item!! You are brave…

  5. Thanks for the reminder! Will go out and harvest some today.

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