How to use fennel fronds?

I just bought some lovely fennel at the farmer's market. The bulbs are going into a Thanksgiving salad along with a tablespoon of the frond leaves for color, but I never know what to do the rest - the long green frond parts. My impression is that the fronds have a much stronger anise flavor than the bulbs. Any suggestions so that I don't end up tossing them as usual?

  • Posted by: lloreen
  • November 22, 2014
  • 2828 views
  • 6 Comments

6 Comments

lem M. November 23, 2014
Fennel fronds are wildly used in (south) Italian cooking, or to be exact: finocchietto, a wild variety consisting of mostly fronds – since it’s hard to find those outside Italy, finding an extra frond-y fennel always feels like a jackpot to me :)
Anyways: searching for finocchietto will give you an idea for its different uses and recipes.
A sicilian classic, and my favourite, is pasta con le sarde, for which there are various recipes on this site (using canned or fresh sardines, with or without tomato, pine nuts and raisins or not, …) For me the only non-negotionable component is the crunchy seasoned breadcrumb topping.
 
Nancy November 23, 2014
in addition to pasta con le sarde, fennel - in all forms - is great with fish. try fronds as garnish for tuna or whitefish salad, garnish for baked fish, or layered with fennel bulb and fennel seed in a baked fish.
 
pierino November 22, 2014
I like to make a fennel and charred blood orange salad (blow torch baby) and the sprinkle the fronds over. Good with grapefruit too.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 22, 2014
Taken in part from a food52 article: Fronds
Chop up the fronds and use them like you would other fresh herbs. They're lovely in a pesto, an egg or potato salad, or as a garnish, like on this soup.
 
Julie M. November 22, 2014
I dry them and throw them into tomato sauce and bolognese, as well as salads and stews. They're really adaptable for someone who likes the anise flavor -- drying them will increase their shelf life so you can use them at will!
 
Meaghan F. November 22, 2014
I snip them with scissors for use as a garnish. If you don't think you'll use them all, I'm sure you could infuse some olive oil with them but I've never actually done that with fennel myself.
 
Recommended by Food52