I collect recipes for fennel, and fennel pesto is one of my favourites. It is so versatile. Fennel pesto can be served as a sauce with pasta or meat. As a starter, or as a pesto topping on bruschetta, taralli or friselle, which are the ring shaped bread biscuits that make it out for a light meal in the evening after the traditional midday dinner.
I like to round it off my fennel pesto with a little double cream. Ricotta or crème fraiche can be used instead, if you want the mild dairy roundness in the taste.
1 fennel bulb
1 clove of garlic
1 star aniseed
50 ml white wine
50 ml cream
15 blanched almonds
Salt and pepper
Wash the fennel and cut it is smaller pieces
Peel the garlic clove and place it in a saucepan along with the fennel and the star aniseed
Pour white wine and cream over and bring it to the boil
Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes until the fennel is very tender
Remove the star aniseed and blend the other ingredients with almonds to a smooth paste
Add more almonds or white breadcrumbs, if you want your fennel pesto to have a thicker texture.