Fennel Frond Orzo

Serving Size: 4
Total Time:

Capers, almonds, fennel, scallions and olives are pounded along with vinegar-soaked bread to create the dynamic and delicious sauce for this elegant and lovely orzo salad.


  • 8 Ounce orzo (1 1/2 cups), preferably whole-wheat
  • 0.5 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pitted black olives, such as kalamata, chopped
  • Fronds from 1 leafy fennel bulb ( 1/2 cup), finely chopped (see Note)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 0.5 cup roasted almonds, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 4-by-4-inch, 1-inch-thick slice of country bread, crust removed and bread cubed
  • 1 small head of radicchio—halved, cored and shredded (4 cups)


  1. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the bread in the vinegar. In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a mortar. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pound with a pestle until a paste forms. One at a time, pound in the capers, almonds, scallions, fennel fronds and olives, until the mixture is chunky. Pound in the soaked bread, then pound in the olive oil, 2 tablespoons at a time.
  3. Add the dressing and radicchio to the orzo, season with salt and toss well.

Notes: You can finely chop the fennel bulb and add it to the orzo as well, if desired.

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Recipe Credit: Ann Redding
Image Credit: Con Poulos