04/12/17 — Heydon Hatcher
Fennel fronds are the long wispy green counterparts to the bulb. I haven’t found a way to eat (and enjoy) all of the fronds from a single bulb, so I make some version of this tea every time we have fennel in the kitchen. I have really enjoyed using Yaupon Tea for this recipe, which is harvested in Bastrop, Texas and known to be North America’s only richly caffeinated plant. Before I discovered the wonder of Lost Pines, I used green tea for this formula. Use either, or omit the tea and brew the mint and the fennel together for a caffeine-free refresher.
Chop the fronds from 1 fennel bulb and add a handful of mint, along with 2 tablespoons of dried tea (or 2 teabags) to a pitcher or a pot large enough to hold at least 8 cups of water. Cover with boiling water and steep for no more than 5 minutes (a longer steep will result in a vegetal-tasting tea that is far less refreshing to sip. Once steeped, strain hot liquid through a sieve over a pot or a pitcher filled with 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir. Refrigerate and serve iced with fresh sprigs of mint, if you have them.