Do you love fennel but never know what to do with the fronds? No problem! Don't let them go to waste, make them into Fennel Frond Pesto!
I might have planted a TON of fennel this year. And by a ton, I mean about 12 plants. I love fennel. However, it also means that my garden beds are exploding with not just the little growing fennel bulbs, but also their huge fronds (greens). It's a little out of control but it also felt like such a waste to not use them. Welcome, our Fennel Frond Pesto!
The best part of pesto? You can pretty much make it out of any greens! Basil, of course, is the classic, but we also love a parsley pesto, too. And in my current state of fennel frond mania, I thought it would be perfect for an anise flavored variety!
Just like any other pesto, simple and fresh (which is also like all of our recipe here).
- Fennel Fronds - Just the frilly green leafy parts, but leave those thicker stalks.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - This is when you want to have a good, high-quality oil, like you were making a vinaigrette.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - Bottled is of course fine, too.
- Nut - A traditional pesto uses pine nuts, but I love using different nuts in my pesto, like almonds, hazelnuts, and for this pesto, walnuts. It's fun to switch up the different nuts in different pestos to get a slight variation each time!
- Salt and Pepper - To taste.
Now I know what you're thinking. No garlic?! I know, the horror! But actually, I love this pesto without it because I think that the garlic can quickly overpower the sweet delicate anise. Sometimes I'll add just a pinch of garlic powder, but truly, I love this pesto without it to really let the anise flavor shine.
Made in Minutes
Step 1: Toast your nuts - although this is totally optional. Toasting brings out some of the nut's flavor, but not necessary for a delicious pesto.
Step 2: Add everything to your food processor or blender.
Step 3: Blend until it's the consistency you want. Want a looser pesto? Add more oil! Want a more concentrated pesto? Less oil. Totally customizeable!
I just love this pesto. It has a wonderful sweet anise flavor to it! Mix it with some simple pasta, as a condiment on a sandwich, or use it on some green beans and poached egg. Hooray for not letting these big gorgeous fronds go to waste!
How to Use Fennel Frond Pesto
No fresh pasta but want to save the freshness for any time of the year? No problem, grab one of these trays so you can freeze all that freshness into little cubes to use them any time you want.
How to Freeze and Use
Use: To use defrost by either thawing in the fridge before using to loosen, or you could add a cube straight to your hot dish and let it melt right in, like pasta or even as added flavor to your favorite soup!
Fennel Frond Pesto
- 1 bunch fennel fronds stems removed
- 1/2 cup walnuts toasted
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Toast the walnuts over medium heat stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to brown.
- Add fennel fronds, lemon juice, salt, half of the olive oil, and nuts to a food processor and blend. Stop and scrape down sides. Continue blending and slowly add remaining olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
- Store in an airtight container in fridge and add to pasta, sandwiches, or anywhere else you'd use a normal pesto!
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