Fennel frond pesto

Fennel is one of those great plants where you can eat so many parts of it, the bulb, the seeds, and the fronds (leaves)! I found myself with an abundance of fennel, that is to say two bulbs.

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Fennel

As you can eat the whole plant it goes quite a long way. Of course there is such potential to make so many things with it, but where to start? I thought the fronds seemed the obvious starting place as there was so much of them and they were likely to wilt quite quickly. I thought about freezing them, maybe in ice cubes, but wasn’t convinced that I would get round to defrosting them that often.

With all fresh green herbs, making pesto is an option and a very viable one in my opinion!
A supply of fresh herbs CHECK
A good olive oil CHECK
A choice of nut…
I opted for the good old pine nut.

Making pesto is easier to do than you might think. Here is the RECIPE.

Fennel frond pesto
Fennel fronds from one bulb, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Pine nuts, 40g
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Lemon juice, a squeeze

1. Chop fennel fronds, discarding the woody stalks.
2. Weigh 40g of nuts or pour what looks about right.
3. Combine fennel, nuts, garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a good glug of the olive oil (5tbsp) into a food processor.
4. Mix until pesto consistency.
5. Grate or mince some hard Italian cheese, like Parmesan or Grana Padano, and add to the pesto. Mix well.
6. Enjoy! Can be kept in sterile jars in the fridge if not eaten straight away.

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Fennel frond pesto

Thanks go to Greenfields Community Garden for the fennel, as well as courgettes, tomatoes, and cabbages. The garden is on Haxby Road, York and has a circular design. There is so much potential in the space that hasn’t been used yet, but the beds that are being grown in are flourishing! There are some wonderful squashes, herbs, and blackberries! Pay it a visit if you can.
Find Greenfields on Twitter.

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