Fennel Frond Pesto: Seasonal Chef Recipe


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.

Fennel Frond Pesto

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Approximately 1 1/2 cups

Fennel Frond Pesto

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


  1. 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.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, zest and lemon juice, pulsing 5 or 6 times. Scrape down the sides again.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.



About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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