Serve this quick pickle between courses to cleanse the palate.
- 3 pounds fennel, (about 9 bulbs), trimmed and sliced into very thin rings
- 1 medium orange
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 5 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 whole pieces star anise
Wash three pint jars with lids in hot soapy water, and rinse well.
Wash fennel, and cut away any bruises or bad spots; trim, and slice into very thin rings. Cut three 1-inch-long strips of peel from orange. Remove any pith from peel.
Bring 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil in a large pot.
Meanwhile, fill each jar halfway with fennel. Place 1 orange rind and 2 pieces star anise on top of fennel. Fill jar with remaining fennel, using the back of a clean spoon to pack it down.
Pour hot liquid over fennel, making sure that it is completely covered and leaving 1/2 inch of beneath the rim of each jar. Place lids on jars, and let stand until cool. Store jars in refrigerator; serve within 3 to 5 days.