Sweet Onion & Fennel RelishSweet Onion & Fennel RelishSweet Onion & Fennel Relish

My fennel is just so beautiful sitting there in my giant blue pot and it is extremely ready to be picked to create something fantastic to eat. With all of the rain here I was waiting till I needed to use it to get it out of the ground. I recently had some pickled garlic with fennel from Susan, one of the canners in our group and loved the licorice taste which I had previous detested in another dish I had made. I grew the fennel because I want to see if this home grown vegetable may have a different flavor from the store bought variety.

I looked through my three bible’s* for canning and found in The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving a recipe for Sweet Onion & Fennel Relish. I was something different and since I was just at the farmers market and picked up a Candy Onion (a variety like the Vidalia) I knew this was the recipe to start with. I needed to adapt the vegetables since I didn’t want to put in red peppers and I don’t like the flavor of the bay leaf and this is what I came up with. If you would like to add the peppers and bay please email me for the entire recipe. Omitting those ingredients did not make the recipe “uncannable” or unsafe.

Sweet Onion & Fennel Relish

Sweet Onion & Fennel Relish 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 d 5 hrs
Total Time 1 d 5 hrs 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 30


  • 1 pc. large sweet onion, such as Spanish or Vidalia (about 8oz/250g)
  • 1 pc. fennel bulb (about 10oz/275g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp pickling salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Red peppercorns (I used 6 per jar )


  • Slice onion in half lengthwise, then in very thin slices crosswise to form half circles.
  • Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise and remove core; thinly slice crosswise to form half circles.
  • Place onion and fennel in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with 2 tsp salt.
  • Toss and let stand for 4 hours. Rinse twice and drain thoroughly.
  • Combine vinegar, water, and sugar in a medium size dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Add vegetables and return just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Sterilize jars then add peppercorns to the bottom. Remove vegetables from liquid with a pair of tongs and pack into hot jars using your plastic spatula.
  • Pour liquid over vegetables leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Clean rim, apply lids and rings.
  • Process 10 minutes for half-pint jars and 15 minutes for pint jars.
  • All good Relish's take about two to four weeks to meld flavors. I will keep you posted. Below are my three bibles:
Keyword Sweet Onion & Fennel Relish