Wild fennel grows everywhere along the coast near Cancale, and it’s become quite a thing for local chefs to add ‘fenouillette’ to their dishes. I first made this recipe as a way to showcase the wild edibles growing around the rental property where I cooked for a private event. The results were so delicious that I now keep a jar on hand at all times for pasta, soups, sandwiches and any other recipe that calls for pesto. It helps that gathering the fronds is as easy as climbing the stairs up the cliff behind my house and only takes about 5 minutes.
I keep my pestos light on the cheese; you could also sub in nutritional yeast or skip the cheese altogether for a vegan version
1 1/2 cups (50g) fennel fronds
1 1/2 cups (50g) parsley leaves
1/4 cup (60g) sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup (30g) grated Parmesan cheese or other hard cheese
1/2 cup (100 ml) olive oil
½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper
Pulse fennel, parsley, sunflower seeds, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add cheese, and pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in steady stream, and process until thick paste forms, adding more oil, if needed. Season with salt and pepper.