Baby fennel is the delicious cousin of the typical fennel plant. Not only was the bulb tiny, but the fronds are soft and dense and make a perfect fennel frond pesto. If you can’t find the baby version look for a regular fennel with thick fronds on top. Click this link to read more about baby fennel from our Seasonal Chef.
This fennel frond recipe is adapted from one by Melissa Clark. Everything goes into the food processor and done in no time at all.
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- ¼ cup roasted hazelnuts, smashed
- 2 cups chopped fennel fronds, hard stems removed first
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place the garlic and nuts in the bowl of a food processor and run for 30 seconds until both are minced well. Add the fennel fronds and process another minute. Scrape down the sides.
- Add the salt, pepper, zest and lemon juice, pulsing 5 or 6 times. Scrape down the sides again.
- With the machine running slowly drizzle in the oil until it comes together and is soft and loose. Scrape down the sides and process another minute or two.
- Taste for seasoning. Store in an airtight container. For longer storage freeze in an ice cube tray, pop out and place in a heavy freezer zip lock bag.