Fennel & Corn Minestra with Purple Potato & Fennel Pollen Relish

Fennel & Corn Minestra

with Purple Potato & Fennel Pollen Relish

2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Let’s extol the virtues of fennel! Crisp with hints of anise, its round, white bulb is incomparably fresh and fragrant. Its fronds can be used as an herb. Its seeds are bursting with flavor. Its long stems are delightfully crunchy. Even the fennel plant’s pollen is an unbelievably aromatic culinary delicacy. In this dish, you’ll use fennel five ways in a minestra (a hearty, Italian pasta soup), made with late-summer corn and served with Parmesan-purple potato relish.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    600 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Fennel & Corn Minestra with Purple Potato & Fennel Pollen Relish
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high. Drain and rinse the beans. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the husks and silks of the corn. Cut the kernels off the cob; reserve and halve the cob. Pick off the fennel fronds (the green, thread-like tops of the plant); place the fronds in a small bowl. Thinly slice the fennel stems; small dice the bulb. Trim off and discard the roots and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek. Halve the leek lengthwise and thoroughly rinse, keeping the layers intact; small dice the leek. Small dice the potato.

Cook the potatoes:
2 Cook the potatoes:

Once the water is boiling, add the diced potato. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside to cool.

Start the stew:
3 Start the stew:

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, sliced fennel stems, diced fennel bulb, leek and fennel seeds; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.

Finish the stew:
4 Finish the stew:

Add the halved corncob, buttermilk, cannellini beans, 2 cups of water and half of both the corn kernels and Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the ditalini pasta; reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Remove and discard the corncob halves. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the potato-fennel relish:
5 Make the potato-fennel relish:

Just before serving, add the fennel fronds, fennel pollen and remaining corn kernels and Parmesan cheese to the cooled potato. Add a drizzle of olive oil and gently mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the stew between 2 bowls. Garnish with the potato relish. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high. Drain and rinse the beans. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the husks and silks of the corn. Cut the kernels off the cob; reserve and halve the cob. Pick off the fennel fronds (the green, thread-like tops of the plant); place the fronds in a small bowl. Thinly slice the fennel stems; small dice the bulb. Trim off and discard the roots and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek. Halve the leek lengthwise and thoroughly rinse, keeping the layers intact; small dice the leek. Small dice the potato.

2 Cook the potatoes:

Once the water is boiling, add the diced potato. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside to cool.

Cook the potatoes:
Start the stew:
3 Start the stew:

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, sliced fennel stems, diced fennel bulb, leek and fennel seeds; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.

4 Finish the stew:

Add the halved corncob, buttermilk, cannellini beans, 2 cups of water and half of both the corn kernels and Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the ditalini pasta; reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Remove and discard the corncob halves. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the potato-fennel relish:
5 Make the potato-fennel relish:

Just before serving, add the fennel fronds, fennel pollen and remaining corn kernels and Parmesan cheese to the cooled potato. Add a drizzle of olive oil and gently mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the stew between 2 bowls. Garnish with the potato relish. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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