Cauliflower, Fennel and Potato Mash

This was a delicious variation on cauliflower mash that I threw together and wanted to remember. The fennel adds a bit of sophistication, but it was still wolfed down by our 4 year old.

1 head of cauliflower
1 large fennel bulb
2 or 3 medium potatoes
2 tbsp butter
heavy cream
salt and pepper

Cut the fennel bulb into eighths (halve, halve again, halve again), and chop the cauliflower into similar sized pieces. Peel and quarter the potatoes.  Fill a large pot with about 1/2 inch of water (so the vegetables are not totally immersed) and bring to a boil.  Toss in the potatoes first, then everything else, cover so the steam is captured, and keep on a light boil until tender.  Drain.

In batches, spoon the vegetables into a food processor and puree (you will probably need to pulse, stir and push the fennel pieces down so they get fully pureed), and then spoon each batch of puree into a large bowl.  Once you have everything pureed, add the butter, salt, pepper, and heavy cream to taste.  Note: I usually make my mash potatoes with milk, not cream, but think the cream really works here.

This was a wonderful side dish, and I can see it being used as a nice base for either a hearty fish or chicken breasts.  I’m imagining lots and lots of mushrooms…

9 thoughts on “Cauliflower, Fennel and Potato Mash”

  1. I just roasted some cauliflower with potatoes and rosemary last night, but this would have been an amazing alternative. Great side dish Giff!

  2. Pureed cauliflower has become a favorite veggie in my household. I love the idea of cutting them with potatoes and fennel. Of course, I love just about anything with fennel.

  3. Yum!! I actually can’t stand cauliflower by itself (I had a bad experience as a child) but will gladly eat it mashed and especially with fennel. Actually, anything with fennel. Dog food with fennel. I bet this would be really lovely on an Easter menu!

  4. Do you think this would be good without the butter and cream? I wonder if there’s a way to make a heart-healthy version that still tastes rich….

  5. @Cathy — I’m sure it would still be great to substitute the butter with olive oil and cream with milk.

  6. Yes I agree with dmg. I rarely cook with cream myself. Another way to enrich the flavor might be to stir in a small amount of finely grated Parmesan cheese

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