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.
Fragrant Fennel Fronds 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.
Storing and Freezing
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.
Fennel fronds pesto should be stored in an airtight container with a lif in the fridge.
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.
How To Serve
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;
- use in this creamy pesto gnocchi recipe.
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:
More Recipes Using Leftovers and Scraps
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.
Fragrant Fennel Fronds Pesto
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 3 cups loosely packed fennel fronds
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon 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 teaspoon at a time if you prefer it thinner)
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for later use
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
I'm excited to try this! I have a bunch of left over fronds and was looking for something to do with them. This recipe is perfect! I will likely substitute the pumpkin seeds as well (great suggestion, Julia!). Thanks for the inspiration.
Absolutely delicious! I had no idea that fennel fronds could be used to make pesto. We have a bit of a walnut sensitivity in our house so I substituted roasted pumpkin seeds, which provides a similar nutty flavour/texture. Will definitely keep this recipe. 🙂 Thanks!
Ooh yum, love the substitution! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
I’m a tad confused- is it just the frond or do you use the stalk? I had 2 large fennel but it only gave me a little over 1 cup of frilly fronds, so I thought maybe some stalk is used?
Hi Aimee, most home-grown fennel will have a LOT of fronds, which is what I used here. If you are buying from a store they can sometimes remove the fronds themselves, which is a pain. You can add a little bit of stalk, but it will be stronger in flavor than if you had just used fronds. Hope that helps.
How long will it last in the freezer if i make a big batch?
Hi Nancy, it should last about 4 months in the freezer.