If you have ever wondered just what to do with those fennel fronds, fennel leaves, fennel tops or fennel greens once you have used up the bulb, then this lush Fennel Fronds Pesto is for you. Just a handful of ingredients and you have a completely delicious and freezer friendly pesto to use wherever you would use a normal pesto.
Ok we are going to go a little bit off kilter today with this Fennel Fronds Pesto. But it will be worth it, I promise!
To be honest, before this year I hadn't done much in the way of cooking with fennel fronds, they were just the pesky end result of some yummy fennel that tended to get tossed in the trash. BUT I planted my own fennel for the first time at the end of summer last year, and it has officially taken over half of my vegetable patch....and I get all the 'catholic-guilts' throwing away those fragrant fronds. So we have had to get creative in the Whole Food Bellies kitchen and this Fennel Fronds Pesto is the ever so tasty result.
The fronds aren't as strongly flavored as the stalks or the bulb itself, so you get a hint of that beautiful aniseed flavor without it being too overwhelming. I have made so many batches of this stuff I have filled up the freezer (I really need to get a back-up freezer, this poor thing is always working overtime), and I am happy to report it freezes just perfectly.
Pair your fennel fronds pesto with:
- some freshly cooked pasta;
- put a swipe on your sandwich;
- dollop some on some fresh salmon before baking;
- or use it anywhere you would normally use a pesto.
We actually put a big dollop on our homemade pizza the other night, and it was just fantastic! FYI it pairs exceptionally well with shrimp!
More fennel fronds you need to use up? Check out this round-up:
And if you have to use up that fennel attached to the fronds then check out these Spicy Fish Tacos with Fennel Slaw from Sidewalk Shoes. We are all about not wasting food around here, so be sure to check out these other posts using leftovers and scraps:
How will you eat your fennel fronds pesto? I love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment if you give it a go, or are planning on doing so. Happy eating.
Fragrant Fennel Fronds Pesto
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 3 cups loosely packed fennel fronds
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ cup olive oil (plus extra)
- Toast the walnuts over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, or until they start to turn a nice golden brown color. Set aside to cool.
- Add the walnuts, fennel fronds, lemon juice, garlic and salt to a food processor. Add in half of the olive oil and pulse or blend until incorporated. Continue blending while slowly pouring in the rest of the olive oil and desired consistency is reached (you may need to add in a little more olive oil or water 1 tsp at a time if you prefer it thinner)
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later use