Finocchio favoloso! Fennel is the superstar of the Mediterranean and especially Italian cuisine for a reason. Fresh fennel bulbs are available in summer and fall. So this is the best time to ferment fennel to get its full nutritional potential.

Fermenting fennel optimizes the benefits of nutrients and active ingredients

The crunchy vegetable contains relevant amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid, silicic acid, vitamins A, B and C. The vitamin C content is twice that of an orange and supports the body's immune system. In addition, fennel provides valuable prebiotic fiber and is low in calories. Fermentation makes it easier to digest and adds probiotics. Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when ingested with food, boost the immune system and the microbiome in the gut.

Recipe for fermented fennel


  • Fennel, salt and water


Fresh fennel is very easy to ferment at home. You simply cut off the top tips of the bulbs and slice or cut the rest into fine strips, cover them with 2% salt, massage it lightly and let it sit until a good amount of brine has formed.

For fermentation, the fennel is placed in a fermentation vessel. First, it must be well pressed down to avoid air pockets and should be fully submerged in the brine. If the brine created is not enough, simply top it up with a little water. Weighted down with wide, flat weights, even small pieces of fennel can't get above the brine. Glass lids from jars work great.

However, it is important that no oxygen gets to the fermenting goods during the fermentation process. So please pay attention on the one hand to the sealing with brine, and also use a suitable vessel. I like to recommend jars with rubber rings, which can be obtained in good quality already very inexpensive.

Place the jar in the dark at 18° to a maximum of 24° C and allow to ferment for 3-5 weeks.

Fennel variations

The already flavorful fennel offers room for many combinations with a variety of herbs and spices. Try your way through the flavors and simply ferment small test jars until you find your personal favorite.

The quantities given are for a 0.5 liter jar each.

Fermented fennel with radishes

This recipe for a springtime quick ferment comes from the fabulous fermentista Kirsten Shockey of, I have modified it only in the slightest. Kirsten, along with her husband Christopher, has written many really good books on various fermentation topics. She is an inspiring, warm, just great woman. This fennel combination is both fresh and colorful and an absolute eye-catcher.


  • 1 fennel (200 gr.)
  • 7 large radishes (100 gr.)
  • approx. 2 tbsp. fennel fronds
  • 7 gr. salt

Cut the fennel and radishes with a knife into fine slices and strips. Sprinkle with the chopped fennel greens and salt and leave to brine for 20-30 minutes. If necessary, fill the jar with 2% brine and leave to ferment for no longer than 4 days.

Fermented fennel with radishes

Fiery fennel chutney


  • 1 fennel (200 gr.)
  • ½ white onion
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli

  • zest from ½ organic lemon
  • 10 gr. salt
  • fennel fronds

Halve the fennel and cut into slightly coarser strips, onion, scallions and chili into fine rings. Chop the lemon peel and the fennel greens. Mix everything together and sprinkle with the the salt and leave to brine for 20-30 minutes. Fill the fermentation vessel with 3% brine if necessary and let it ferment for 4-6 weeks.

Fermented fennel "Wild Galway"

Llewyn Màire of Savage Craic Ferments inspired me to create this delightfully aromatic combination. I would love to join them on a Saturday at the Ballyvaughan Farmer's Market in North Clare, Ireland to taste one of their delicious ferments. Until I finally travel to Ireland again, we'll just keep chatting on instagram. I always enjoy their forthright warm-heartedness.


  • 1 fennel (200 gr.)
  • a few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seed
  • fennel fronds
  • 2 gr. salt
  • brine to fill

Strip the lemon thyme and chop it together with the fennel greens. Coarsely pound the mustard seeds in a mortar. Cut the fennel into very fine slices with a vegetable slicer. Sprinkle everything with the salt and leave to brine for 20-30 minutes. Fill up the jar with 2% brine, if necessary, and let it ferment in a rather cool place for 2-3 weeks.

Fruity summer fennel


  • 1 small fennel
  • 1 firm pear
  • 1 handful of blueberries

  • 1-2 stalks of thyme
  • 2.5% brine

Cut the fennel and pear with a knife into equally wide, rather coarse slices, respectively strips. Pluck the thyme from the stems and chop. Place in a fermentation vessel and fill with the brine. Leave to ferment for 1 week.

Fenchel mit Birne und Heidelbeeren

If you like this recipe, you'll definitely be a fan of fruit fermentation.

More fermented fennel recipes

Fermented Fennel with peppers

Fresh fennel bulbs are available, just in time for the barbecue season, from early summer to fall, and in summer the red peppers are also

Funky Finocchio

Five stars for fabulous fermented fennel. Can you ferment fennel? Oh yes, and how! In summer and autumn, from June


  1. Moin, warum soll das Ferment mit Fenchel/ Radieschen maximal 4 Tage fermentieren? Wie stoppt man es dann?
    Grüße Sophie

    • Moin Sophie,

      ich mag den Geschmack von Radieschen nicht, wenn sie zu lange fermentieren. Du stoppst den Prozess, indem Du das Ferment aufisst. Alternativ kannst Du es kalt stellen.

      Und vielleicht schmecken Dir Radieschen ja länger fermentiert? Probiere es aus, dann kannst Du das Ferment einfach so lagern.

      Gutes Gelingen!

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