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
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…