Drying Fennel Flowers

There was a lot of interest yesterday when I mentioned that I dry fennel flowers to use in cooking.  I maybe didn’t make it clear of was describing the wild fennel that grows all over the Mediterranean and not Florence or bulb fennel that is eaten cooked as a vegetable or raw in salads.

I learned about picking and drying the flowers to use with roast potatoes when I was helping some friends with their grape harvest, before we lived here in Lazio.  Continue reading

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The Slope on Tuesday 30th July

The weather is now very hot; high 30’s C during the day; last weekend it was close to 40°C in the shade! Despite all the rain and the water that must be stored deep in the ground the garden is shrivelling before my eyes.

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Weigela is looking very stressed

Weigela is looking very stressed

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The Perovskia is taller now, from the drive you can only just see over the top.

The Perovskia is taller now, from the drive you can only just see over the top.

Californian Poppy

Eschscholzia californica (Californian Poppy)

Californian poppies are flowering from new seedlings, the older plants are dry and need cutting to the ground; they will flower again in autumn.

One crop grows on the slope!  The fennel I showed with the Perovskia a couple of weeks ago is there for a purpose.  I collect and dry the flowers to add to roast potatoes, sausage risotto or dishes with Porcini (wild mushrooms).  I dry the cut flower heads on trays in an airy spot and then rub the dry flowers through a sieve and then into a jar.  You can buy them ready done in the local vegetable shops; but as they are very labour intensive to prepare they are very expensive (about €100 per kg). As there is a good crop this year I may prepare some in some pretty jars to give as little Christmas presents, it is always a much appreciated gift.

Fennel flowers ready to pick

Fennel flowers ready to pick

What is the weather doing in your part of the world?  Are you having rain or thunder storms, hail or wind or is it pleasantly warm or even too hot to bear.