Recipes with Wild Fennel and Rosemary

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Our Spring Holiday in Brittany went in a flash.  Despite the cool weather and freezing winds we managed to walk the dog every day on the beach and over the sand dunes. We ate lots of delicious seafood, Spider Crab, Brown Crab, Langoustines, Prawns, Clams as well as freshly caught fish, such as Sea Bass and Lieu (Pollack).

I usually serve the seafood with homemade mayonnaise and freshly baked soda bread. I made pretty, cheerful salads with Breton Tomatoes and Roscoff Onions to eat alongside the fish. I felt that a little more was required and decided to use the Fennel which grows wild on the sand dunes (I do love a little foraging!).

Fresh Wild Fennel ready to make salsa

I used some of the Fennel to stuff the fish along with lemon before I baked it, and then used the rest in a delectable Salsa to serve alongside the fish; it was perfect!

Simple spring salsa recipe, served with fresh fish

Sarah Raven has a very simple and extremely tasty Spring Salsa Verdefeaturing  fresh Spring herbs on her website, and this was the recipe I based my salsa on. I was unable to get all the herbs, but the two salsa that I made, one with Fennel as the base herb, and the other with Parsley and Fennel, were both superb.

They complemented the fish perfectly and were also delicious  with the New Potatoes that were just beginning to appear. I think this Spring Salsa Verde would work well with all sorts of foods, and it's a great way to use fresh herbs, whether home grown, bought or foraged.

Looking up the recipe on the ipad

Freshly made Spring Salsa Verde

My own little herb patch was rather over grown after a winter of neglect and the Rosemary had swamped all the other plants, even the Mint was struggling somewhat!  I had to deal with it, and removed the larger of the two plants, but I didn't want the all wonderful scent to be lost.  I made a room freshener. This is an ideal way to use up a few sprigs of Rosemary, even if you're not dealing with a monstrous plant!

Fill  a large saucepan with water adding several sprigs of Rosemary and a sliced Lemon or two, as well as a decent spoonful of Vanilla Extract.  Bring this to the boil and then leave simmering, for the day if you wish, just refill as needed with hot water.

Simple, natural, homemade room freshener recipe

The house quickly smells fantastic, and how much better is this idea then a room spray? Completely natural and no additives required!  A good alternative in the winter months is to boil sliced Lemons with Cloves, which create a wonderfully midwinter scent. Isn't it wonderful to see the trees in bloom (after such a long winter)?

I am gazing out of the window at pink and white blossom and have started dreaming about all the cordials and jams I'll be making during the summer.  Do you make your own preserves?  What's your favourite recipe? Which is the tastiest thing you've ever made?

Do let us know! I'll catch up again at the end of May, but in the meantime I'm reading the posts of all my fellow bloggers, all of which I find so inspiring.

Thanks for reading,