Food Gardening Network

Ice Cream Sundae with Nuts and Fennel

Indulge in the contrast between sweet ice cream and a savory, crunchy topping with this Ice Cream Sundae with Nuts and Fennel!




  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 5 to 8 minutes until browned.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Simmer over low heat, cooking and stirring occasionally until fennel is tender—about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, discard vanilla-bean pod, and let fennel cool in the syrup mixture.
  7. Coat walnuts in powdered sugar and bake on baking sheet for 5 minutes at 400 degrees F, until walnuts become browner and crunchier.
  8. Scoop gelato or ice cream in bowls, and top with walnuts, candied fennel, and chopped fennel fronds.
  9. Serve immediately.