Seasonal Chef: Baby Fennel, Something a Little Different


Taking a trip to the farmers market in the summer can always be a wonderful experience. You will generally find typical ingredients like squash, tomatoes and beans in July, but this week I found something really interesting: baby fennel. I’ve never seen this variety of fennel so I was intrigued. Not only was the bulb tiny, but the fronds were soft and dense. Almost immediately I thought the fennel fronds would make a tasty pesto.

Fennel Fronds

Baby fennel bulbs have a mild sweet flavor, a little less pungent than it’s larger cousin. The fronds on the other hand are much denser and have a bright fresh aroma when cut. Perfect in a summer salad.

Baby Fennel

Once I got my bunch home I gave them a quick rinse

trimmed baby fennel

then trimmed the bulbs and fronds.

Baby fennel and red skin potatoes

You can easily eat them raw but I decided to give them a quick blanch in boiling salted water, then slice in half. I had some red skin potatoes on hand and after a quick boil decided to make an easy potato salad.

Fennel Frond Pesto

I remembered seeing a fennel frond pesto recipe by Melissa Clark a while back and after a quick review I adapted it with some ingredients I had on hand. Click this link to see my: Fennel Frond Pesto recipe.

Fennel Frond Pesto Potato Salad

This fennel frond pesto is perfect on pasta as well. Remember, whatever pesto you have left can be placed in an ice cube tray and frozen for future use. One cube of pesto is equal to a serving.

Buon appetito!

One year ago: Spicy Mustard Greens
Two years ago: Corn


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).

1 Comment

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