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Prep 8 mins
Cook 30 mins
5-Ingredient Fix Contest Entry. My Italian heritage inspired this mashed potato side which is great to serve anytime and especially when entertaining during the holidays. I use grape seed oil when roasting as it tolerates higher temperatures. The roasted fennel added to Simply mashed potatoes results in a great combination of flavor and a side that you will want to serve often. Grape seed oil can be purchased in health food stores, larger supermarkets or on-line. Garlic flavored olive oil can be a substitue, if necessary. Roasting the fennel can be done a day ahead and the fennel heated quickly in a microwave just before you puree it and beat it into the mashed potatoes.
- Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a edged heavy-duty baking sheet with parchment.
- Quarter fennel bulb lengthwise and trim base and core, leaving just enough core intact to hold layers together. Reserve the feathery top. Cut fennel bulb into 3/4-inch to 1-inch wedges and place on parchment lined sheet. Brush wedges with oil (both sides) and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon salt. Roast until wedges begin to brown on the edges-about 15 minutes. Turn wedges and roast until tender and nicely browned-about 10-15 minutes longer. Remove from oven, turn oven heat off. Cool fennel slightly then trim away remaining core; discard core.
- Prepare mashed potatoes during the final 5 minutes of roasting fennel. Peel film at corner of package to vent then heat on high 3 minutes in microwave. Completely remove film and stir. Microwave on high for another 1 minute. Transfer potatoes to a large serving bowl when fennel is removed from oven. Set bowl in oven to keep warm (door ajar-oven heat off).
- Roughly chop fennel and puree in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of the warm cream until smooth. Transfer fennel to bowl of potatoes, add remaining 2 tablespoons warm cream and beat together. Season with extra salt to taste. Chop a few reserved fennel tops and scatter over potatoes. Serve immediately.