We made this pesto with intermediate school kids recently, and none of them had ever seen a fennel bulb before… how do you cut it? What does it taste like? After roasting in a little olive oil and salt, everyone decided they liked its sweet mild anise flavour. Tasters of this recipe came back for seconds… and thirds and fourths… until the bowl was empty.
Roasted fennel bulb with roasted almonds, fennel fronds, olive oil and garlic make a more-ish pesto that teams up very nicely with anything. What’s anything? We mixed it through roasted potatoes, yum. You can also spread it on wholegrain bread, use it as a dip with carrot sticks and celery sticks, or mix it through salads. Or just eat it as-is! The original recipe came from Daniel Gritzer on seriouseats.com . We reduced the amount of olive oil in it to make a more spreadable paste. It’s a quick recipe, simple, and the result is delicious. If fennel fronds are not available, use dill or celery leaves.
Roasted Fennel Pesto
1 cup (300g) chopped fennel bulb (approx 1 medium bulb)
3/4 cup (150g) olive oil
1/2 cup (75g) slivered almonds
3/4 cup (15g) loosely packed fennel fronds
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped roughly
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°c.
- Cut fennel into quarters. Remove the fronds and set aside. Core the fennel, and wash the bulb. Cut fennel bulb into roughly 2 cm chunks. Toss in olive oil, spread out on a lined baking tray, and roast until fennel is soft and lightly browning, about 15 min. You may need to stir the fennel for even baking.
- Spread slivered almonds on a lined baking tray and bake, stirring occasionally, about 5 min, until lightly toasted – watch them! Let fennel and almonds cool slightly.
- In a food processor, pulse the roasted fennel with the fennel fronds, garlic, and 1/2 cup olive oil until it forms a puree. Add the almonds and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the salt, and pulse again until you are satisfied with the texture. Serve. Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.