Fennel Relish

Great for an exotic taste.


  • 1 large head fennel, bulb and feathery leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) firmly packed prepared onions, about 2 large
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) pickled capers
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) ground mustard
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) fennel seed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pickling salt or coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) fresh cracked black pepper


  • Place 5 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Remove feathery leaves from fennel; finely chop enough to measure 2 tbsp (25 ml) lightly packed; set aside. Remove stalks and core from fennel bulb and discard. Pulse fennel in food processor (do not purée). Measure 3 cups (750 ml) firmly packed and set aside.
  • Peel and remove ends from onions. Pulse in food processor (do not purée) and measure 2 1/2 cups firmly packed. Combine onions, capers, vinegar, water, brown sugar, flour, mustard, lemon zest, fennel seed, salt and pepper in a large stainless steel sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil and boil gently, covered, 4 minutes. Add fennel pulp and herb and return to a boil. Remove from heat
  • Ladle relish into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more relish. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining relish.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.