I started canning, in earnest, about three years ago. I started out of a combination of nostalgia – when I was a teenager, my mom and I used to make pickles in the summer – but also out of an effort to take an advantage of and stay on top of the extraordinary abundance of produce that can be found in the PNW in the summer.
Of course, abundance in produce leads to abundance in canning, which leads to having many, many jars of pickled vegetables and many, many jars of chutney, jam, and preserves. It’s a vicious cycle, because by the time spring rolls around, I’m ready to start canning again, even if I haven’t completely depleted the already existing supply from the last season. Thus, come February, I’m frantically looking for and creating recipes that use up the canned goods.
This salad was born from that desperation. I have a few cans of pickled fennel left and thought it might complement some thinly shaved carrots and beets. I was, fortunately, right. This isn’t exactly a recipe – but more some general advice about how to combine a few ingredients into a simple salad.
Carrot, Beet, and Pickled Fennel Salad
Thinly slice four or five carrots into strips about 2 inches long. Thinly slice a large beet into similar sized strips. Drain a jar of pickled fennel, reserving the pickling liquid. Combine the beets, carrots, and pickled fennel in a bowl. Combine 4 tablespoons of the reserved pickling liquid with 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a jar. Place a tight lid on the jar and shake vigorously. Combine the pickling liquid and olive oil mix with the vegetables. Grind a bit of black pepper over the top and serve.