Ice-Cream Sundae with Nuts and Fennel
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: Serves 8 1x
- 1 cup raw shelled walnuts
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 fennel bulb, fronds (the leafy top) removed and reserved, and bulb thinly sliced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise to expose the seeds/caviar
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 pints vanilla gelato or ice cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 5 to 8 minutes until browned.
- In a medium saucepan, heat sugar in 1 cup water, stirring until sugar dissolves. When cooled, pour over walnuts and seal in a jar to sit for up to one day.
- Pour walnuts into a fine-mesh sieve over a clean medium saucepan, letting the syrup drain into the pan. Transfer walnuts to a medium-sized bowl, and reserve sieve.
- Add sliced fennel and lemon zest to syrup and scrape the vanilla-bean seeds/caviar into the syrup. Add vanilla bean pod to syrup mixture, too.
- Simmer over low heat, cooking and stirring occasionally until fennel is tender—about 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat, discard vanilla-bean pod, and let fennel cool in the syrup mixture.
- Coat walnuts in powdered sugar and bake on baking sheet for 5 minutes at 400 degrees F, until walnuts become browner and crunchier.
- Scoop gelato or ice cream in bowls, and top with walnuts, candied fennel, and chopped fennel fronds.
- Serve immediately.