Right now there are a few items on my menu that use fennel bulbs. To get the amount we need, we have a ridiculous abundance of the fronds and stalks. The past few weeks have been full of fennel experiments. My favorite use for the stalks is to make a stock with them and turn that into a syrup which can be used in place of Absinthe in cocktails. The stock also works great in desserts.
Fennel Frond Chimichurri & Dressing
This recipe gives you the best of both worlds. You get a zesty, aromatic paste that goes great on grilled meat, and you get a flavorful dressing base. This recipe makes a lot, so if you’re making it for home, you might want to scale down. The chimichurri can be frozen in smaller increments if you want to make the whole batch.
1. Fennel Fronds- 4 cups, very firmly packed
2. Sherry Vinegar- 1 ½ cups
3. Red Onion- ½ each, medium diced
4. Olive Oil- 2 cups
5. Garlic- 7 cloves, smashed
6. Chipotle Powder (RC Fine Foods)- 2 tablespoons
7. Kosher Salt- 2 teaspoons
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until combined (about 2 minutes).
2. Put all ingredients into a high-powered blender, such as a Vita-Mix. Blend on medium for 2 minutes.
3. Ladle some of the mixture into a fine mesh strainer and push until 16 oz of liquid comes out. Return the slightly moist herb mixture back to the blender and blend for another minute
You should end up with a fennel frond chimichurri in the blender. Adjust with salt and pepper as you like. I like to just put a few spoons of it onto meat or seafood as it’s coming off of the grill.
The 16 oz of liquid is a fantastic base for a fennel vinaigrette. I would just add a splash of water and some sweetener (brown sugar, honey, agave) to finish it. Maybe Dijon or whole grain mustard, depending on my use. 2 birds, 1 stone