Vegan Fennel Pesto

Fennel PestoPesto is such a wonderful thing to have in your fridge. It makes such a great quick dinner with fish, zucchini pasta, gnocchi, salads − basically everything.

While I’ve been living in San Francisco I go weekly to get my fruit and vegetables from the farmers’ market. Fennel is a weekly purchase and is sold with beautiful stems and fronds still on the bulbs, unlike in the supermarkets where they are cut off. So I’ve got into the habit of making weekly fennel pesto from the stems and leaves. It is the best of all pestos, and even better, it is less expensive than basil and other traditional pesto greens. If you buy your fennel from the market then the stems are effectively free.

Fennel is also great food for your gut to reduce inflammation and bloating. It is also a good source of nutrients and minerals, particularly vitamin C, fibre and folate.

The fronds and stems

Vegan Fennel Pesto

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • Leaves (fronds) and stems from 3 large fennel bulbs
  • ¾-1 cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup nuts or seeds (pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • * I use a dry cup measurer for all my measuring (liquid and dry)

Method

  1. Cut away the fennel bulbs and the larger stems and save for other recipes. Keep the smaller stems and the fronds for making the pesto, which should make around 6 large handfuls (3 packed cups).
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender/food processor and blitz until you have a smooth slightly runny pesto paste.
  3. Add more oil, salt to suit your taste.

Serving ideas:
* With zucchini pasta or Pumpkin Gnocchi (the pesto will serve 6-8).
* On top of fish, aubergine or other vegetables (the pesto will serve 10-12).
* Add a dollop to salads as a dressing.
* On Chia Seed Bread with sliced tomatoes.

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