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Waste Not: Fennel Fronds Pesto

What do you do when you have way more fennel fronds than you know what to do with? You make pesto!

fennel fronds
After a week of my fennel extravaganza—roasted fennel, 2 fennel based soups, and fennel salads. I was left with an over abundance of fronds.  Despite using them to finish, garnish or spice up my dishes, these fluttery fronds just kept lingering around.  Not one to waste (I try my best), I thought, why not fronds pesto?  It couldn’t hurt and I could preserve these delicate tasting fronds for future meals.  I have to say, it was the best thing I did.  The following couple weeks were so busy that having a homemade pesto around made cooking all that much easier. The simplest dishes were tastier. Sometimes, it’s all about the quick and easy, and this pesto helped to keep the spice in my life!


Dosha: PKV
Seasons: VK(unless fresh fennel is available in the summer)
Total Time: 10-15 mins
You need: a food processor

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of fronds (washed and semi-dry)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger (about an inch)
  • 1 small clove garlic chopped
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pink/sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

fennel fronds pestoAdd all the ingredients but the fronds to the food processor and blend until the garlic & ginger are finely minced. Then add the fronds. Blend for another minute or two.

Pour and  store in airtight dry container for up to two weeks.

Tip: I like to “rinse” my processor with a little lemon juice to ‘lick’ the processor clean. Sometimes you need more than just a spatula!

Notes: I kept the pesto light on garlic & lemon so that I could have the flexibility to use it in various dishes and have the option to add more later. I also opted for no nuts to keep it the pesto a bit lighter and more cooling.


Tastes: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Bitter

Fennel: a cooling carminative spice with vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, folic acid, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Read more

fennel fronds pesto

Here’s a few dishes I cooked up with Fennel Fronds Pesto:

roasted veggies with fennel fronds pesto

Roasted golden beets, carrots, cauliflower & sweet potatoes. Toss with pesto after roasting.

Quinoa Salad with Fennel Fronds Persto

Leftover roasted veggies, tossed with turmeric quinoa & raisins, peas, radishes & sprouts and spinach. Plus, more pesto!

Shaved Scarlett Turnips & Carrots with Fennel Fronds Dressing

Made Fennel Fronds Tahini Dressing and drizzled it over shaved scarlet turnips & purple carrots.

Pasta w/Fresh Pea & Fennel Fronds Pesto

Pasta! Boiled pasta with fresh peas. Tossed with lots of baby spinach, fennel fronds pesto, a squeeze of lemon and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

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  1. Pingback: Lemony & Creamy Fennel Fronds Dressing | Chit.Chaat.Chai

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