This fennel frond pesto with sautéed gnocchi was a delicious spin on a classic basil pesto. The flavor of the fennel fronds were subtle and delicate. The texture of the olive oil toasted bread crumbs played well against the pillow-y softness of the gnocchi. The anise flavor of fennel fronds is much less pronounced than in the bulb, so if you aren’t a huge fan of fennel, this dish is still worth a go. It’s fast, easy, and absolutely delicious.
Fennel Frond Pesto with Gnocchi and Olive Oil Toasted Bread Crumbs
Fennel Frond Pesto:
1 16 oz. package potato gnocchi, cooked according to package instructions and drained
4 cups fennel fronds, packed
1/4 cup curly leaf parsley, packed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs. Brummel & Brown
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Place fennel fronds into a food processor. Pulse 5-10 times until finely chopped. Add pine nuts, cheese, and garlic. Pulse 5-10 times to combine. While running, slowly drizzle in olive oil, scraping down sides as necessary, until a paste forms. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper as necessary.
Heat Brummel & Brown in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add cooked gnocchi and sauté until golden brown. Add pesto and toss to coat. Top with olive oil toasted bread crumbs (see below).
Olive Oil Toasted Bread Crumbs:
2 slices whole wheat bread, pulsed in a food processor until crumbled (yield about 1 cup)
2 tsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
In a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add bread crumbs and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Sauté 4-5 minutes until golden brown.