Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mashed Potatoes with Fennel and Rosemary

If you ask me, mashed potatoes don't need much embellishment. They usually hit the spot with just a little butter, milk and salt. But every once in a while, it's fun to mix it up, especially if you're having company over for dinner. Adding fennel, rosemary and crème fraîche definitely takes traditional mashed potatoes to the next level.

Makes 8 servings

3 large fresh fennel bulbs (about 2 1/4 lb. total)
1 medium onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1.      Preheat oven to 375° F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2.      Trim the fennel bulbs and cut into quarters. Remove the center core and discard. Cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Combine fennel, chopped onion, oil, and 1 teaspoon sea salt in large bowl; toss. Spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle with pepper. Roast until fennel and onion are very tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer fennel mixture to processor and puree until almost smooth.
3.      Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well.
4.      Return potatoes to the pot; add the butter and mash with potato masher until smooth.  Mix in fennel puree, creme fraiche and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

adapted from recipe by Lora Zarubin

whole fennel
fennel bulb quartered (core hasn't been cut out yet)
chopped fennel & onion before roasting
fennel & onion puree
potatoes draining
chopped rosemary

I think I should have added some of the fennel fronds, at least as a garnish on top (that would have been nice). Oh well.


Chuck said...

I have mixed feelings about fennel, but I thought these mashed potatoes were delicious.

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

Funny story about me and fennel... I'll tell you sometime... upshot is that I'm not a fan of fennel seeds. But, roasted fennel I find quite nice and I enjoyed a roasted fennel and leek dish I made for passover a few years ago. I bet they add a nice note to the potatoes.

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