Spring Cheese Board with Pickled Fennel
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Spring has almost sprung! Get in the spirit with refreshing ingredients to create a stunning spring cheese board complete with pickled fennel.
Quick Pickled Fennel
  • 2 medium bulbs of fennel
  • 1 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Equipment: 2 (pint-size) sterile canning jars
Whole Wheat-Rye Crackers
  • ¾ cup semolina
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup rye flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
Quick Pickled Fennel
  1. Thinly slice the fennel lengthwise (a mandoline works well or you can slice by hand).
  2. In a pot, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil.
  3. In a dry sauté pan, toast the coriander, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Divide the spices among the jars. Add the sliced fennel. Pour the brine over the fennel leaving about ½-inch space at the top.
  4. Let the fennel cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It's best to give the fennel at least a day to pickle.
  5. Note: You can add orange and/or lemon peel to the jars.
Whole Wheat-Rye Crackers
  1. Preheat the oven with a pizza stone at 450F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the semolina, whole wheat and rye flours. Add the salt, pepper, and olive oil and mix. Slowly add the water, while mixing the dough. Once the dough comes together, transfer to a clean work surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic and rest 30 minutes.
  3. Cut the dough into quarters. Take a piece of dough and run it through a pasta roller to the fourth setting (you can also roll by hand). You can slice the crackers into strips or you can keep them a bit misshapen and rustic looking.
  4. I lined a pizza paddle with parchment for easy transport. Place the crackers on the parchment and transfer to the pizza stone (parchment and all). Bake until lightly browned and crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Note: You can add fresh/dried herbs (e.g., thyme, rosemary) or other spices (e.g., red chile flakes) to the dough.
Recipe by Honest Cooking by Mercato Fabbrica at https://honestcooking.com/spring-cheese-board-with-pickled-fennel/