Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Green Mashed Potatoes - For Mama and Baby

Life is like a CSA box... You never know what you're gonna get!
...I happened to get a freakishly large kohlrabi. It was at least the size of two, maybe three, regular bulbs. I was getting tired of Veggie-Ham Bake, since we'd just had it two weeks in a row, so I needed to find something else to do with it. I also had a fennel bulb laying around, and no idea what to do with it either. Searches for yummy recipes for each vegetable offered up "mashed" options. Hmm...

I used this recipe to give me an idea of how to prep the fennel, but since I don't own any mascarpone cheese  (nor could I pronounce it to save my life,) I decided it was too fancy for me. Plus the fennel smells like black licorice. I do not like black licorice, so I needed to use it in a dish where it wouldn't dominate, in case it tasted that way too. (It does. Blech.)
I mostly followed this recipe by Farmgirl Fare for the mashed kohlrabi idea, as well as much of the directions and ingredients.

I didn't add any salt during the cooking process, and I pureed the potatoes, which is a textural no-no (unless you're using fingerlings,) so that this would be safe for Baby to eat too. (Pureeing potatoes does something funky with the starches and makes them glue-y rather than fluffy. Fingerlings are the exception to this for some reason.) I had russet and red potatoes. And since I wanted to keep the peels on, I needed to make sure they'd get chopped small enough for her. I also was lazy wasn't in the mood to puree just the fennel and kohlrabi, and keep the potatoes separated enough during cooking to mash them instead before combining.

Green Mashed Potatoes

2-3 kohlrabi bulbs, and leaves if possible. (Or one freakishly huge one. Mine was 1lb 6 oz)
Approx. 1 lb potatoes, cubed (I had 1lb 4oz)
1 bulb fennel (optional)
Sprig or two of Rosemary, or a few leaves of basil, or some fresh (or frozen) herbs of your choice.
1-2 tsp salt (depending on the amount veggies you actually have. Skip this if making for baby.)
1 c water
2 pats butter (unsalted if making for baby)
1 onion, chopped
1 green garlic bulb and stem, minced or 3 tsp minced garlic (roughly 3 cloves, minced)
1-2 tsp pepper
2-3 Tbsp liquid - vegetable or chicken stock, cream, milk, water, etc. Might not be needed.

Step 1: Prep veggies.
Kohlrabi: Cut off the stems and set aside. Peel away skin until you get below the fibrous-looking layer. Cube, or slice, your choice. I cubed mine into roughly 1-inch chunks.
Rinse the leaves (discard any yellow ones) and cut the stems off. Coarsely chop leaves and set aside.

Fennel: Remove the stalks, slice bulb in half, then cut center out of bottom, to remove inner leaves.

Step 2: In a large saucepan (with a lid preferably, but I used a ceramic plate,) heat up 1 cup water until boiling (dissolve your salt in the water, if using.) Turn heat down to Medium and add kohlrabi, potatoes, fennel, and rosemary or other fresh herbs. Cover and cook approximately 30 minutes, stirring and re-covering every 5-10 minutes, until tender.*
*If you want to make it harder on yourself and have this be smooth enough for baby without ruining the texture for the adults by pureeing the whole thing, use 1/3 c water with the potatoes in one pot, and 2/3 c water with kohlrabi and fennel in another. Follow the same directions, then in Step 4, puree the kohlrabi and fennel, and mash just the potatoes.

Step 3: Meanwhile, add 2 pats unsalted butter to a frying pan and sauté onions on medium low heat until softened, roughly 5 mins. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes; don't let garlic brown. 

Add the kohlrabi leaves to the frying pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Allow to cool a little, then puree in food processor or blender. Set aside.

Step 4: Mash the kohlrabi, potato, and fennel chunks (remove rosemary stems, if applicable.) Add onion-garlic-leaves mash and blend until smooth. Add 2-3 Tbsp additional liquid (cream, soup stock, water, etc) if needed, and pepper to taste.

Serve warm.
Aherm. Those are NOT my toes peeking in the picture!

The Verdict
Everyone loved it. Well, kind of. I would definitely make it again, but not with the fennel. In fact, if fennel is ever in my box again, I won't take it. It smells like black licorice, which I hate. And it made the food smell and taste a little like black licorice. Not enough to bother me overmuch, but enough that I would have preferred this without.
But with a puddle of butter and salt on top... yummmmm! I already have an idea on how to do this next time, and avoid the glueiness, since Baby is doing better with larger chunks of peel and things in her foods.

I froze some up for Baby in little 1-ounce cubes.
Since I prepared this with Baby in mind, I pureed it all up in the food processor, instead of mashing. Which, of course, made it all gluey. Hubby and I liked it anyway, but the frozen cubes were quite rubbery when thawed, and I had to add more water. It looked kind of gross. Baby E liked it okay though. She's a big fan of flavor!

1 comment:

  1. My kids would love this. They love food that is unusually colored. Probably because they don't get many things with artificial colors, either.

    Baby E is absolutely adorable!


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