Sunday, 21 August 2011

With Fronds Like These...

Well, I am now officially in my thirties.  I survived the festivities relatively unscathed, thanks to my wonderful Husband, and Mum and Dad (and helped along the way by an exceptional strawberry and basil pavlova at the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow.)    So, that's it.  The moment I have been dreading since I turned 29 has passed and I am older, wiser(?), and healthier than I have ever been.  Except for the massive anaemia.  I currently have two default settings: at work, and sleeping.  Occasionally I have mustered up enough energy to indulge in something I love - playing in the kitchen.  Inspired by my Riverford Organics vegetable box, I came up with this.

Fennel Frond Pesto
I have used sunflower seeds, but you can just as easily use pine nuts. (the Husband has a nut allergy and although pine nuts aren't technically nuts, they make him nervous, so I substituted them.)

50g fennel fronds, thickest stems removed
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
25g fennel bulb
juice from half a lemon
10g sunflower seeds
50-100ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
pinch of salt

  • In a mini food processor, or with a mortar and pestle, finely chop the fennel fronds (you might need to add them in a few at a time to fit them in).
  • Add the garlic, fennel bulb, lemon juice, and sunflower seeds and grind to a rough paste.
  • A little at a time, mix in the oil until you have a consistency that you are pleased with. I like a loose paste. 
  • Taste, and season as necessary.

Try this tossed through boiled new potatoes, or as an accompaniment to fish.


  1. Looks really interesting and tasty. I've just bought a couple of fennels, but with a view to making a tomato and fennel pickle. They're disappointingly low on frond factor, sadly! Will try this in future, though.


  2. Thanks! Tomato and fennel pickle sounds great, too, I'd love a recipe if you have one.