Tag Archives: fennel pesto

Triple Herb and Almond Pesto

30 Jul

Originally, this fennel, dill, and parsley pesto was to be served over a poached whole fish.  But the fish was, um, bad.  Really bad.  So instead, I made a dinner out of nice bread spread with a touch of butter and this fresh pesto.  This differs from a traditional pesto because its cooked in some white wine to help tame the assertive flavors of the fennel and dill.  It still has that herbacious, garlicky, nutty flavor of a traditional pesto, though.

This is a really great way to use up the lovely fennel fronds that you get when you purchase a bulb of fennel.  Because of their strong anise flavor, its sometimes hard to figure out ways to use them.  But a pesto is the perfect application, because it allows the strong flavors of the fennel to shine and balances them out with pungent garlic, creamy olive oil, and the nutty flavor of whatever nut you choose to add.  The positive outcome of this dish made me feel not too terribly bad about the awful failure of the fish I had tried to cook, so I thought it was worth a post despite its simplicity.

Triple Herb and Almond Pesto

4 cups fennel fronds, loosely packed

2 cups dill fronds, loosely packed

2 cups flat leaf parsley, loosely packed

1/2 cup almonds

4-5 cloves garlic

2-3 tbs. olive oil

1 cup white wine

Using a food processor or blender, finely chop almonds and garlic.  Add herbs and finely chop as well.  With machine running, add olive oil.

Transfer to a medium sauce pan.  Add white wine.  Simmer over medium-low heat until most reduced.

Serve, as pictured, on bread with a light smear of butter, with fish, or with pasta.

Fennel Frond Pesto with Gnocchi and Olive Oil Toasted Bread Crumbs

20 May

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.

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