Recipe: Wild Fennel Ice Cream

Wild Fennel growing on Topanga Canyon Blvd

Today on the show, Good Food Producer Gillian Ferguson goes on a foraging adventure with three chefs at Craft Restaurant. Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle, Chef de Cuisine John Keenan and Pastry Sous Chef Holden Burkons enjoy the tender young stalks and fronds of the wild fennel which pops up this time of year in Los Angeles.

The chefs use them in both savory and sweet applications, but Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle likes to make a Wild Fennel Ice Cream which he serves with an Olive Oil and Black Pepper Cake and Harry’s Berries Strawberries. Keep reading for his Wild Fennel Ice Cream Recipe…


  • Now this looks very interesting! Quick question though, does it have to be wild fennel? It's not exactly easy to come by! I wasn't sure if there's a reason why shop-bought fennel might taste different…

    • gillianferg

      Pete there is a flavor difference between wild fennel and cultivated (aka grocery store) fennel. The wild is more intense in flavor, both in it's sweetness and it's earthiness. Most of the fennel ice cream recipes I've seen outside of this wild fennel preparation use fennel seeds instead of fennel stalks.

      • Pete Morris

        Thanks Gillian, will have to go out on the hunt for some!

  • Audrey

    I made this recipe but turned the ice cream into ice pops, coated in white chocolate and caramelized pistachios. The milk infusion had a cooked greens (like collard greens) aroma when it was warm. That flavor wasn't pronounced later but if I make this again I'll use fennel seeds instead of fronds, or start steeping the fronds once the milk cools a bit.

  • Thanks for the informative writing. Would mind updating some good tips about it. I still wait your next place. 😉