6 Fennel pairings for summer

Summer is just around corner, which means it’s time to lighten up those dishes. As the temperatures warm up, it’s no wonder that we find ourselves craving the bolder, fresh seasonal flavors of ingredients like fennel. Its distinctly anise and camphor-like aromas are a great way to perk up any spring or summer recipe. Learn to use everything from bulb to stalk to frond in these six fennel pairings that will show you how to combine them with grapes, elderflower, pomegranate, guava, grapefruit and dill.

Fennel + Grape


Why do they match?

Fennel + Grape both share a strong citrus (orange) aromatic connection.

Lobster with Grapes and Fennel Crème on Toast: Looking for a light summer appetizer? Try a spread of creamy fennel purée on your toast. Then top with tender chunks of cooked lobster, slivered grapes and pickled fennel stems. To finish, give your toasts a grate of fresh lemon zest and a little pinch of fennel fronds for a fragrant, anise-scented touch. Click here for the recipe.

Fennel + Elderflower


Why do they match?

Fennel + Elderflower share a citrus (orange) aromatic link.

Seared Salmon with Fennel and Elderflower: Don’t just serve the same boring old salmon! A simple vinaigrette goes a long way in dressing up this everyday fish. All it takes is a fresh squeeze of lemon in your elderflower cordial, plus a dash of Izarra® Vert for a spicy, herbal note. Simply drizzle the vinaigrette alongside your pan-seared salmon and shaved fennel salad, and you’ll see just what we mean. Click here for the recipe.

Fennel + Pomegranate


Why do they match?

Fennel + Pomegranate: both share a spicy (orange) aromatic link.

Crab and Couscous salad with Pomegranate and Fennel: Add some bite to your crab and couscous salad by dressing it up with thin shavings of fennel and tart, juicy pomegranate seeds. For a little lemon-peppery kick, marinate your pomegranate seeds with minced chiles and fresh ginger, then garnish with a few leaves of mint and cilantro for accent. Serve your crab and couscous salad with a traditional Belgian strong pale ale-style beer like Omer, and you’ve got yourself a meal! Click here for the recipe.

Fennel + Guava


Why do they match?

Fennel + Guava: share spicy, citrus aromatic links.

Salmon and Guava reduction with Fennel and Fava Beans: In Colombia, fried fish is often paired with a warm guava reduction. The spicy, citrus scent of the fragrant tropical fruit works as a sweet, tangy contrast to cut the fattiness of salmon. Accompany this dish with fava beans and Japanese wakame served atop braised fennel bulbs. The fava beans provide their own green, cucumber-scented link to the salmon and guava, while the wakame gives this dish an irresistible umami boost. Click here for the recipe.

Fennel + Grapefruit


Why do they match?

Fennel + Grapefruit share mostly citrus (orange) aromatic links and some camphor-like notes in common.

Lobster Salad with Spiced Pink Grapefruit, Peppers, Fennel and Quinoa: In this Lebanese-inspired dish, pink grapefruit segments are marinated in a light syrup flavored with red pepper purée, warm spices and ginger that doubles as the vinaigrette. Fresh fennel and watercress add an extra touch of spiciness and texture to this tasty lobster and quinoa salad. Click here for the recipe.

Fennel + Dill


Why do they match?

Fennel + Dill share a camphor-like aromatic link.

Sambuca Panna Cotta with Dill Sorbet and Pickled Fennel: This unusual dessert pairs a Molinari sambuca-infused panna cotta with the bright flavors of fennel and dill. All three ingredients contain strong anise-scented notes that we temper using contrasting ingredients and different cooking methods. To balance the rich, creamy panna cotta, we serve it with pickled fennel and a refreshing dill sorbet made from tart Granny Smith apples and orange juice. It’s a perfect dessert for any summer occasion. Click here for the recipe.


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