Fennel bulbs, aka finocchio, give this unusual purée a delightful flavor that is both rich and light, as paradoxical as that may sound. And the good news is, it is very simple to prepare.
You can serve the purée as a side dish with grilled meat, poultry or fish, alongside classic French dishes like boeuf bourguinon or sauté d’agneau, or as part of a vegetarian meal.
3 bulbs finocchio
3 small to medium potatoes
1 tsp. sea salt or regular salt
2 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large pot halfway up with water.
Rinse the finocchio. Chop off the bottoms and branches. Cut each bulb into quarters. Add to the pot.
Peel the potatoes, cut into medium sized chunks and add to the pot. Add the salt.
Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, 30-40 minutes.
Drain through a colander.
Purée using a blender. Go easy while blending as it’s nice to leave a little texture.
Return the purée to a clean pot, add the cream and reheat gently. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Grind in some black pepper.
Serves 3-4 as a side dish or as part of a vegetarian meal.