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Milk Street Bowtie Fennel, Lemon and Pine Nut Pesto

Fennel, Lemon and Pine Nut Pesto

Appears in July-August 2021

10 minutes

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Fennel, Lemon and Pine Nut Pesto

Free

Milk Street Facebook Community member Jennifer Heftler of Los Angeles, blends fresh fennel, zesty lemon and buttery pine nuts into pesto. She uses the tender parts of the stalks that she trims off a large fennel bulb, but you could also use the bulb itself. If your fennel bulb has fronds attached, add them, too. If not, or if there are only a few fronds, supplement with fresh tarragon or basil. To keep the flavors clean and bright, Heftler skips the cheese. Mix the pesto into a pound of cooked pasta along with some reserved pasta cooking water to help the sauce cling to the noodles, then drizzle with additional olive oil. Or spoon it onto fish or pork.

1

cup

Tip

Don’t forget to remove the core from the fennel before chopping. It’s usually tough and fibrous, and therefore a good idea to trim it away.

10 minutes

1 small fennel bulb, cut lengthwise into quarters, cored and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup lightly packed fennel fronds, fresh tarragon, fresh basil or a combination
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup pine nuts or pistachios
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Ingredients
  • 1

    small fennel bulb, cut lengthwise into quarters, cored and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fennel fronds, fresh tarragon, fresh basil or a combination

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled

  • ½

    cup pine nuts or pistachios

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
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Reviews
Lorene S.

I'm allergic to both pine nuts and pistachios, could I substitute almonds instead?

April D.

Lorene - definitely! You can play around with different nuts in this dish. Almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts would all be good options.
- The Milk Street Team


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Fennel, Lemon and Pine Nut Pesto

Get Ready to Cook

1

cup

10 minutes

Tip

Don’t forget to remove the core from the fennel before chopping. It’s usually tough and fibrous, and therefore a good idea to trim it away.

Ingredients
  • 1

    small fennel bulb, cut lengthwise into quarters, cored and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fennel fronds, fresh tarragon, fresh basil or a combination

  • 1

    teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1

    medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled

  • ½

    cup pine nuts or pistachios

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼
Step 1 of 1

Combine Ingredients

1
small fennel bulb, cut lengthwise into quarters, cored and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
¼
cup lightly packed fennel fronds, fresh tarragon, fresh basil or a combination
1
teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1
medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
½
cup pine nuts or pistachios
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼
cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine the chopped fennel, fennel fronds, lemon zest and juice, garlic, pine nuts and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pulse until roughly chopped, 5 to 10 pulses, scraping the bowl as needed.


With the machine running, stream in the oil, then process until well combined but not perfectly smooth, about 10 seconds.


Transfer to a small bowl then, taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Done!

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