Parsley & almond fennel, letting go & moving on

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As expected, I’ve been rather absent lately. There’s been a lot going on, both good and bad. The bad – we finally said goodbye to my beloved childhood yellow labrador Max last weekend and it was really, really tough. He was old, and it was time, but it was still heart-wrenching to say goodbye to a faithful companion who I can’t remember being without.


But then, there are ups and downs in life, and a big, big up is on the horizon. We’re finally (hopefully!) going to be making a move into a flat all of our own, just up the road. It requires lots of work, lots of saving, lots of evenings spent drawing and designing – and this all equals less time and money to spend experimenting in the kitchen.
My beautiful lab, Max

So it’s just something simple from me tonight, a raw fennel salad, one of my favourite sides. This time, I dressed it in pesto made from almonds and parsley which was quite delicious. I never make my pesto as oily as traditionalists do – I find it ever so pricey and a bit excessive to use much more oil than I have, to make a more ‘pastey’ than drippy pesto.

1 LOUNGEA vision of our fingers-crossed-we-will-get-it new flat

You will need:

1 fennel bulb
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of freshly picked parsley leaves, chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Salt, pepper
5-6 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
2 tbspns freshly roasted almonds (I used marcona variety)
1 tbspn parmesan cheese


1 – Make the pesto: pound together the parlsey leaves, garlic and 1/2 the lemon juice together with about half the olive oil. Add the nuts and bash these into the leaf paste.
2 – Stir in the cheese and season, adding a little more oil as needed to make a nice paste
3 – Grate the fennel finely using a mandolin. Keep the fronds and add these along with the sliced fennel to a bowl with seasoning and the remaining lemon juice. Toss about 3/4 of the pesto, plus a little extra oil, into the fennel. Mix well then scatter onto a serving plate. Top with extra pesto and any remaining oil. Serve immediately.



15 thoughts on “Parsley & almond fennel, letting go & moving on

  1. lovely recipe – good luck on the lounge – nice piece of furniture under the TV looks like USM Haller but that is a Swiss brand and I would be surprised if it is the same, it usually comes in fatter components, do you know what the make is by any chance? Lastly – sorry to hear about your lab, it is hard to let them go – I cherish every day with my pet knowing that our time together is finite and short…

    1. Hi there, thank you!
      It’s actually a custom piece I’ve designed and am having built, just made very simply with (good quality) plywood, but yes I can see why you would suggest haller!
      Thanks for the kind words, it’s tough but when you know they’ve had a lovely long life it makes you happy again :-)

      1. Aha – I see well that makes sense then – but you see the haller resemblance! Good idea to have your own made – the room looks really great :)
        You are right about the lovely long life a friend of mine has just had to say goodbye to her cat Figaro – he made it to 19 years old which for a cat is unheard of really, she was sad of course but she had loads of time with him too, never easy

      2. Thanks, that’s kind of you- I can’t wait to make it happen! Wow 19 is brilliant- our lab was 15 which is quite amazing for the breed. Sign of a good life lived well. Hope your friend is doing okay, it’s a strange adjustment to be without them

      3. wow 15 is really good for a lab you are right – my friend is sad – the cat was almost the same age as her daughter so lots of history there too – it is strange to be without them I have gone through it before and still think of them

  2. Sorry to hear about your dog – it’s so sad but you know when the time is right. Your flat plan looks amazing – good luck with it. Hope you end up with a big kitchen to cook lovely things!

  3. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve caught up on blog reading. I am so sorry Becky. It’s a horrible experience to lose a family member and, although it’s been several months now, my heart is right there with you! I’m so happy to know that plenty of good things have happened since then, your new flat is AMAZING and you and Scott are moving into a beautiful kind of comfortable stability… for now at least! Sending you hugs and wishing we could catch up for coffee xxx

    1. Hey lovely,
      I know it’s been ages for me too. I’ve taken a break.. while so much other stuff has been going on. I guess sometimes priorities change and for the moment i have no immediate plans to restart the blog.. various reasons for this!
      I’m hoping to squeeze in a visit to Aus at some point at the end of the year, my sis has just moved to sydeny and we would visit perth to see friends, it would be lovely to meet up if we manage to make it there! i hope you’re well and happy – must catch up on your blog soon, its been FAR too long! xx

      1. Definitely understand that. I have been in a similar position over the past year, other things definitely take priority sometimes (or a lot of the time!). It would be absolutely wonderful to see you and Scott! It’ll be a hot time of year to visit but beautiful in terms of beach weather and balmy evenings. Keep me posted on your plans… we would be happy to take you around, have you round for dinner (that would be WONDERFUL), whatever you have time for lovely. How exciting! xx

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