Fennel Frond-Parsley-Manchego Pesto

Another pesto recipe to use up vegetable scraps. Use the feathery fennel fronds or substitute carrot tops, beet greens, or the leaves of Swiss chard, stems discarded. From chermoula to salsa verde or chimichurri, herbs blitzed with nuts, citrus and olive oil appear across world cuisines as a bright, bold mouthful and play versatile roles as a dressing, spread, marinade, dip, or topping for meats. Pesto with basil and pine nuts is the Italian classic, but you don’t have to stick to herbs. Look in your fridge and use carrot tops, beet greens, scallions, jalapeno, vinegar, mustard.


Cook time


For 4 Batch(es)


2 cups fennel fonds
1 cup finely grated Manchego cheese (or substitute Parmesan)
2 large sprigs, or more
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional) or use 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove or shallot (optional) garlic
1 pinch salt

Fennel Frond-Parsley-Manchego Pesto Directions

Lightly rinse off your greens, if needed. Combine greens, cheese, and garlic clove in a blender and lightly pulse to blitz. Slowly drizzle in the oil and lemon juice or vinegar and continue to blitz until smooth. Sprinkle in the salt a little at a time, to taste, and give a final blitz to mix well.

Recipe notes

If you don’t have a blender or processor, you can also finely chop the ingredients and mash to a paste in a mortar and pestle or even with the back of a spoon in a bowl. Add the oil to create a wetter mixture and continue mashing until smooth. Store in a jar in the refrigerator To freeze: If you plan to freeze pesto, first plunge leaves/herbs into boiling water (5-10 seconds) and then into an ice bath before blitzing. This will keep the color green and vibrant. Freeze in ice cube trays.

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