Pork meatballs & pickled fennel with walnut pesto

Pork meatballs & pickled fennel with walnut pesto

20 mins
Cooking time
25 mins
Jaqui Melville

These delicious ingredients are great in a toasted sandwich. It takes a little time to make the meatballs, but time is love and this toastie gives you that with pesto on top!


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, grated
250g minced pork
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
25g parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
4 thick slices white bloomer
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Pickled fennel

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 small fennel, finely sliced

Walnut pesto

Quantity Ingredient
45g walnut halves
30g basil leaves
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
60ml olive oil
pinch sea salt


  1. Make the pickled fennel by mixing the rice vinegar with the honey in a bowl, then add the sliced fennel. Leave to pickle for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put all the walnut pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend until just combined: the texture should be coarse, not smooth. Set aside.
  3. For the meatballs, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, then add the onion and garlic. Gently fry for 5–10 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Put the pork, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan and onion mixture into a food processor, season with black pepper and blitz until well combined but not completely smooth. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the fennel seeds to the pork mixture, combine together using your hands, then form small balls about 2 cm in diameter.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs in batches – it’s best not to overcrowd the pan – on all sides for around 10 minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through.
  7. Toast all 4 slices of bread in a toaster then butter each slice on one side. Lay 1 slice butter-side up, then spread over the walnut pesto followed by the meatballs. Top with the pickled fennel. Repeat this process twice more. You should end up with a stacked meatball sandwich. Cut in half to serve.

Best bread

  • white bloomer
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