Recipe: Fennel Lemon Pesto

Welcome to my new favorite condiment!  The idea for this recipe came to me last night while I was making some roasted fennel and potatoes.  Dinner needed a bright, zippy sauce to liven up the flavors of roasty, toasty carbs.  I had a huge pile of fennel fronds destined for the trash that I decided to put to better use and make a pesto.  I grabbed a lemon, zested and juiced it into the blender, tossed in all of the fennel fronds, added olive oil and salt, and blended.  The result was a definite crowd pleaser – bright and zesty from the lemon, deeply herbaceous from the fennel.  One of the best blender sauces that I’ve made in a while!

I served this on top of roasted potatoes and fennel last night, but this sauce would work in so many ways.  I’m excited to try it on asparagus later, as well as a topper for scrambled eggs (I just had breakfast and I’m already counting down to lunch over here!).  This would also be awesome on top of a bowl of brothy beans, stirred into a soup, added to risotto or as a sauce for a pasta dish (we may try this later in the week), or used as a spread for sandwiches. 

Super punchy, super versatile, and helps to reduce food waste.  Next time you have a head of fennel and don’t know what to do with all of the fronds, make this!  Recipe down below, photo up top!

Fennel Lemon Pesto


  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Fennel fronds (leaves and stems) from one whole bulb of fennel
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, blend until smooth.
    1. Add more olive oil if the blender or food processor is struggling to blend, this should help get it going.
  2. Enjoy!


7 comments on “Recipe: Fennel Lemon Pesto”
  1. I JUST learned recently that you can basically make pesto with any kind of green. My new favorite has been mint. But this one sounds delish. I’ll need to add it to the rotation. Thanks for sharing- Danielle


    1. aucellc says:

      That’s awesome! I like to make pesto out of spinach or hearty greens like kale. There is a great recipe for a Spinach Miso pesto from Bon Appetit that’s excellent. I’ll have to try a mint pesto, sounds fun!


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