Fennel Pesto

    15 min

    I think the strong and unique flavour of fennel is best enjoyed in uncomplicated dishes such as a fresh fennel pesto that can be enjoyed with pasta or simply with fresh bread or crackers. You can use the fennel bulb if it's sold without the leaves - if so use the whole bulb for this recipe

    Umbria, Italy
    10 people made this

    Makes: 500 g

    • 100g fennel leaves
    • 200-300ml olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 100g Parmesan cheese (or any strong cheese, as long as it's not too salty)

    Prep:15min  ›  Ready in:15min 

    1. Simply place all ingredients in an electric food processor and blitz it until you have a paste. Easy! Amounts will depend on individual tastes; being a little health conscious I added more fennel then instructed though if you prefer a creamier dip then let the cheese flow!
    2. The pesto can be either stirred into cooked, drained pasta and served immediately, or eat it as you would any dip (with wine and crackers…). It can also be stored in the fridge for a few days – simply add more oil if it gets dry.


    A lesson I've learnt is to work with what you’ve got, with what's in season. Once you know what role each ingredient plays within the flavour of a recipe you can change, adjust and tweak the recipe to adapt to seasonal availability. For example the fennel pesto easily becomes the more traditional basil pesto or a rocket pesto depending on what ingredients are the freshest. If its spring (fennel), summer (basil or spinach pesto) or all year round (rocket grows during all seasons).

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