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Fig and Fennel Pesto

Fig and Fennel Pesto

Fennel and Fig Pesto


1 medium fennel bulb (about 1 lb.), trimmed, cut lengthwise into quarters, and cored (reserve the fronds)

1 large head garlic, top 1/2 inch cut off to expose the cloves

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. olive oil

Kosher salt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 oz. dried figs (2 to 3), preferably dark

1 Tbs. finely grated Asiago

1 tsp. finely grated Lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh Lemon juice

1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425°F.

Put the fennel and garlic on a small rimmed baking sheet, toss with 1 Tbs. of the oil, and season lightly with salt. Cover with foil and roast until very soft, 30 to 40 minutes.

Transfer the fennel to a food processor. Squeeze the cloves from the garlic bulb (or remove with a knife), and add to the processor. Add the remaining 1/2 cup oil, the walnuts, figs, cheese, zest and juice, ginger, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Process until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved fennel fronds and pulse until combined but with some green flecks, 4 to 5 times. Season to taste with salt. Use right away, or cover and refrigerate.