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July 30, 2017

Seggiano’s Newest: Sicilian Wild Fennel Tomato Pesto

by Anne Paddock

Seggiano, the Italian gourmet and culinary leader is at it again. With 3 delicious pesto sauces already on the market, Seggiano decided the times is right to introduce a new pesto:  Sicilian Wild Fennel Tomato Pesto:  a thick and hearty sauce made with tomato salsa (tomatoes, salt) 43%, sun-dried tomatoes (tomatoes, salt) 28%, Italian extra virgin olive oil, wild fennel leaves 8.5%, avola almonds, and chili.

Fennel is not a plant that most people associate with pesto but according to Seggiano, the addition of wild fennel to sauces and tapenade is very common in Southeast Sicily because the flavor of the leaf blends so well with tomatoes, olives, and almonds.

A member of the carrot family (really!), fennel is a flowering yellow plant with aromatic leaves and a mild anise-like sweet flavor that lends itself well to many dishes and especially pesto.  Often referred to as “Florence Fennel,” the bulb of the vegetable, stalks and leaves look more like a celery plant and are eaten raw or cooked like a vegetable.

Rich and robust, Sicilian Wild Fennel Tomato Pesto is a delicious and refreshing alternative to traditional pesto.

One serving (2 tablespoons) of Sicilian Wild Fennel Tomato Pesto has 200 mg of sodium, 6 grams of fat, and zero grams of sugar. Simply heat and toss with freshly cooked pasta for a delicious summer dish. For a lighter version, dilute the jar with 8 ounces of vegetable broth (with no salt added) in a sauce pan. Use a whisk to blend, heat, and then toss with the pasta of choice. Store any unused sauce in the refrigerator to use later. Or, blend half of the jar (about 4 ounces) with 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of vegetable broth to serve 2-3.

Each 7.8 ounce jar sells for about $10 at Whole Foods Markets.

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