After making a fennel and apple salad, I was left with a pile of beautiful green fronds. A few fronds are nice chopped up in the salad, but I couldn't think of anything interesting to do with them. Instead, I made simple syrup, steeped the fronds for half an hour, then strained and added a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. The jar sat in the fridge until inspiration struck and I stirred some into a glass of Arancita (orange) soda. What I ended up with was a non alcoholic version of Pernod and orange juice. It was so convincing I had to remind myself that it wasn't going to get me drunk.
I could see buying a fresh fennel just to make this syrup.
You Will Need:
About 1 cup fresh fennel leaves
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice-strained
Bring sugar and water to a boil whisking until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, stir in fennel and let steep at least 30 minutes. Strain. Stir in lemon juice and cool at room temperature. Store, tightly covered in the fridge.