Bertie Bassett strikes back

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INSTEAD of letting the bronze fennel seed itself willy-nilly over everything, I decided to harvest the seeds this year.

It’s an easy matter of cutting off the seed heads into a bowl, then pinching off the seeds (see left).

Then spread them out very thinly in a large, shallow bowl and put them somewhere warm and dry to get rid of any excess moisture. The conservatory was ideal for this and the smell is intoxicating – a bit like living in a Liquorice Allsorts factory!

They’re utilised in many different cuisines, from Swedish to Indian.

I used some to flavour a risotto with Italian sausage – they’re good with fish, cheese or added to bread dough. They’re also good for digestion.