I love cooking with fennel but for years have been searching for a delicious way to use the plentiful beautiful green fronds that top them. With their lovely sweet aniseed flavour it seems such a waste to throw them away. This pesto is such a wonderful way of using up those fennel tops and is great on pasta (or zoodles), stirred into minestrone or other soups, mixed into salad dressing, as a dip for fresh veggies, spread on grilled sourdough, added to omelettes and scrambled eggs, or alongside fish, chicken or meat. Use only the soft fronds for this recipe not the tough woody stems.
Fennel Frond Pesto
- 1 cup Fennel Fronds , firmly packed
- 1 cup Basil Leaves , firmly packed
- 3/4 cup Grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1/3 cup Pine Nuts , activated or lightly toasted
- Salt and Pepper , to taste
- Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a paste, adding a couple more splashes of olive oil if needed.
- Store in a glass jar drizzled with a little olive oil over the top in the fridge for up to a week. This recipe is also freezer friendly.
- Replace the pine nuts with almonds or walnuts.
- Try fresh mint leaves instead of basil.
- Use kale or carrot tops in place of the fennel fronds.