On a grey, rainy June afternoon three years ago, I brought a fennel and apple salad to school for lunch.
I didn’t feel like eating a cold salad. But it was what I had, so I ate it.
Later, I ended up in the hospital with a bowel obstruction and subsequently developed an aversion to raw fennel. While I use the dried spice in my cooking, I never buy it anymore.
It wasn’t the fennel’s fault. Fennel is a superb digestive aid, and it’s full of helpful antioxidants like Vitamin C and fibre, which helps sweep the baddies out of our colons.
Then fennel showed up in my Harvest box and I figured, well, let’s roast the darn thing and see what happens.
Caramelizing the fennel and garlic gives this pesto a sweet, gentle flavour. And no hospital visits were required.
Fennel for the win!
I created this recipe using ingredients from SPUD, who supplies me with an online credit. As always, any opinions I express about the products are my own.
Get $20 off your first SPUD order by entering my special coupon code ‘Sondi’ at the checkout (it’s valid on orders of $40 or more). It’s a sweet deal: you get forty bucks worth of organic groceries for only $20. SPUD has locations in Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
- 1 large bulb of fennel
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- ½ cup whole organic almonds
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- olive oil as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pluck the fronds from your fennel bulb and set them aside. Cut off the stalks and save them for another use (like broth).
- Trim your bulb in half and cut out the core, then slice it lengthwise into one-inch pieces.
- Toss the fennel slices into a pan, along with the whole garlic cloves. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and toss to coat.
- Roast for about 25-30 minutes, until the fennel begins to caramelize and your whole kitchen smells of delicious garlic. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool.
- In a food processor, grind your almonds until they are broken down into a rough meal. Add the fennel and garlic, along with the lemon juice and salt. Blend until everything comes together. If the pesto is dry, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
- Take a handful of fennel fronds and break them up, then add them to the food processor. Pulse everything together. Taste, then adjust seasonings.
- Makes about one cup.