Le barbe del finocchio non si buttano!

Don't throw away fennel beards!

Where I come from they say "nothing about pork is thrown away", but I wouldn't add even fennel! And of many other good things that come from our gardens! Often the fennels we buy don't have large beards, but those we self-produce certainly have plenty of them and throwing them away seems like a big waste. This wonderful aromatic herb with an aniciate flavor lends itself to various preparations. While you let your imagination run wild, I leave you my favorite recipes with green fennel .

Fennel pesto

This delicious sauce is also good by the spoonful. On toasted bread croutons. To season pasta. To puree raw vegetables.

You will need:

.the beards of two fennels (or three if they are very small)

.a generous handful of almonds (with the skin for goodness sake)

.a level spoonful of squeezed pickled capers

Approximately 10 g of parmesan or parmesan

.the crumb of a slice of bread

.two or three tablespoons of water

.oil, salt and pepper

Put everything in a blender, adding oil or water if the mixture is too dry. If we use desalted capers I recommend omitting the salt. If we want a vegan version, we can omit the parmesan and increase capers and almonds to taste.

Fragrant breadcrumbs

This is a very simple gratin preparation, banal I would say, but capable of revolutionizing the saddest plaice fillets, the chewiest prawns, the palest chicken. It also fits on leftover boiled vegetables.


.three large slices of bread (both fresh and stale are fine as long as it is not very hard)

.beard of a fennel

.a lemon peel

.a soulless clove of garlic

.salt and pepper

.a scant spoonful of extra virgin olive oil

Here too, throw everything in the blender and use generously for gratinating. Add the oil immediately so that it mixes well with the rest and the browning of this fragrant crust will be uniform. If you like you can add other herbs to this preparation,parsley certainly goes well and so do celery leaves.

Sausage and fennel ragout

This very tasty sauce pairs well with both normal and egg pasta. It is prepared in a short time and manages to amaze with its original flavour.

Ingredients for 4 people:

.one large white onion

.two sausages, preferably Tuscan ones

.half a glass of dry white wine

.400 g of tomato puree (or 600 g of diced fresh tomato )

.the beard of a faggot

.half a teaspoon of fennel seeds

.oil, salt and pepper

First we finely slice the onion and let it sauté over low heat with a little oil, we don't want to use too much as the sausage will also release a bit of fat during cooking. In the meantime, we free the sausages from the casing, crumble them with our hands and add them to the onion before the latter browns too much. As soon as the sausage starts to brown, add the white wine, once this has evaporated, add the tomato and season with salt, pepper and fennel seeds. Let it come to the boil, then lower the heat and let it cook over a gentle heat until it reaches the desired density. With puree, 10 minutes will be enough, with fresh tomatoes it could take up to half an hour. While the sauce is cooking, we wash and dry the fennel beard and chop it finely with a knife or crescent cutter. We will use it to sauté the pasta together with the sauce for a very fragrant result. For those who want to overdo it: a sprinkling of pecorino is the death of him.

Ricotta pancakes with fennel beard

A tantalizing idea for an aperitif, a snack or an appetizer, but also for a meal perhaps accompanied by a nice fresh salad. These pancakes are very soft, crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, everyone likes them!


.250 g of ricotta, preferably sheep's but cow's is also fine

.three generous spoonfuls of grated cheese

.a cup of 00 flour

.two teaspoons of baking powder

.2 whole eggs

.the beard of a fennel finely chopped

.salt and pepper

.fry oil

In a bowl, whisk the ricotta with the eggs, then add the flour, yeast, fennel leaves, cheese, salt and pepper. The best cheese for this recipe is pecorino romano, however various types of cheese can be used, from simple parmesan to more particular cheeses such as Emmental or feta. We should obtain a soft dough that fits on the spoon; if it is too liquid, add a couple of spoons of flour.

Once the oil has been heated, using two teaspoons, we will pour in small quantities of dough which will swell almost immediately, taking on a rounded shape; they will be ready when they have taken on a nice brown colour. Drain and serve warm. You can prepare them in advance and then put them in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving, they will be as if they were just made.

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