I was desperate to find something to do with the fennel that kept coming in my CSA share each week. Mamabelly from Lunches With Love told me about a simple baby food recipe that included fennel, carrots and potatoes. That's been my go-to plan so far with our Summer CSA share - if I don't know what to do with it or we have too much... Feed it to the Baby!
She didn't give me a recipe per se, so I kind of had to fake it and make it up as I went along. Whee!
I sautéed it up and tried it before pureeing. I had Hubby and Z try some too, and we voted on whether to eat it for dinner or go ahead and mash it up for Baby as planned. Read on for the verdict!
Simple Sauteéd Carrots and Potatoes With FennelServes 4-6
2 lb carrots, coined
3-4 lb total potatoes and/or kohlrabi, cubed
1 fennel bulb, chopped (may include stalks, if desired. Discard fronds or Google recipes you can use them with. Hey, I can't do everything for you!)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 Tbsp butter, separated (or olive oil, for a vegan alternative)
salt to taste
Optional: 1/4 package Firm Tofu, cubed
In a large frying pan or wok, melt 1 Tbsp butter and roll it around to coat the bottom of the pan. If at any point you feel you need more butter, add the other Tbsp.
Add kohlrabi (if using;) sauté and stir for 5-10 minutes
Add potatoes, carrots, fennel, and onion. Sauté and stir for 5 minutes.
Add tofu if using; sauté and stir another 5 minutes. Keep going until everything looks and feels cooked properly.
I kept tossing cubes of kohlrabi or carrot into my gob to check for done-ness, since the potatoes and tofu cook up and soften fairly quickly here.
Salt to taste.
DONE! See? SIMPLE!
Carrot-Fennel-Potato Baby Mash Variant
After cooking, separate out the portion you plan to puree for Baby and add a little cream. (I just used 2% milk, since it's what I had on-hand.)
Mash up using a blender or food processor. Add more cream a little at a time as needed until desired consistency is reached. Freeze any extras in serving-size portions for up to 3 months.
Baby was a fan! She's really into complex flavor combinations. If I leave out the kohlrabi (or do some kind of steam cookery to it first) and make sure to cut everything fairly small (or just do a quick chop in the food processor before serving,) this would be a great finger-food for her after 9-10 months.
The first time I made this it was aimed at Baby, so I used unsalted butter for cooking. When I tried it, it was soooo gooooood, so I made up a small bowl for Hubby and Z to try. Hubby liked it too, but Z did not. But she doesn't like anything I make that isn't nuggets, french fries, or a PB sandwich of some kind, so don't rely on her opinion too strongly.
I voted to eat it ourselves; Hubby was noncommital, thinking about all the leftovers we had piling up in the fridge that we could eat instead; while Z and Baby voted to puree it up. I lost.
So when I got another bulb of fennel the following week, I made sure to stock up on more potatoes and carrots to give it another go! This time I was making it for us, so I used regular salted butter, plus added some firm tofu to make it an entree rather than a side dish. You can add chicken or ham or something if you prefer, or skip it and serve this as an all-veggie side. But I don't like touching raw meat, and I'm too lazy to coordinate sides with my dinners!