Vegetable Quartet (Fingerling Potatoes, Carrots, Fennel, and Bacon!)

This was inspired by a side dish I had when enjoying an incredibly delicious lunch at Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta (this is where former Top Cheftestant Richard Blais currently hangs his hat, and if you’re in the area, you must go. Period. Where else could you have a foie gras milkshake?). The side was titled simply: fingerling potatoes and carrots. I like both, so why not? I just expected a side of potatoes and a separate side of carrots. Mixing these two in one bowl never would have crossed my mind, and as a result, I found a new favorite side dish.

Vegetable Quartet (Fingerling Potatoes, Carrots, Fennel, and Bacon!)

I have a hard time pitching this mix of flavors to people because it doesn’t really sound all that sexy. Carrots, potatoes, fennel, and bacon. Individually, they’re all great. But all together at once? Its strange, but you get this perfect combination of salty, smoky, and savory where each component is still quite distinct and they all play off of one another. Whether or not my take on this is quite true to the original, I certainly couldn’t say, but I’m smitten with the results either way. Oh, and now for those keeping score, I guess the “quartet” title might seem a little misleading since potatoes aren’t technically a vegetable (but yes, bacon is a vegetable, lol), but I couldn’t think of a catchy name for this.

  • 5 big strips bacon
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • dash of white wine
  • fennel seeds
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chives/scallions

Begin by chopping up the bacon into ~1/2-1 inch long chunks. Cook the bacon in a pan until done. Fish out the cooked bacon chunks and set aside for now.

Meanwhile, chop off the leafy parts of a bulb of fennel (reserve them for another day–you can use it like any other herb). Chop out the bottom woddy “core” and discard it. Now, chop the fennel bulb into smallish, bite-sized pieces. Sauté these with a dash of salt in the bacon fat for about 7-10 minutes to soften. Then, transfer the sautéed fennel to a casserole dish, add a small splash of white wine (just so the bottom of the dish is wet. You don’t want to leave the fennel swimming), and transfer to a 375°F oven for 30 minutes.

While the fennel braises in the oven, back to your pan of bacon fat. If it doesn’t look like you have enough fat to continue, replenish with a knob of butter. Then, add in some fennel seeds, frying for a minute to get the flavor into the oil. Then, add the coarsely chopped potatoes (unpeeled, each potato chopped into roughly 6-8 pieces) and coarsely cubed carrots into the fat. Add a dash of salt and pepper, sautéing until cooked through. This could take on the order of 15-20 minutes.

Once the potatoes are complete, empty the pot into the fennel casserole. Add the cooked bacon from earlier and toss the entire mixture well. Adjust seasoning as you see fit and let it finish its time in the oven if need be.

Finally, garnish with snipped chives/scallions (don’t skip this as an unnecessary garnish–it really adds something).


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33 Responses to “Vegetable Quartet (Fingerling Potatoes, Carrots, Fennel, and Bacon!)”

  1. Meeta Says:

    Oh I just love vegetable dishes like this. I do not need anything else! Fennel is so good in this.

  2. Laurie Constantino Says:

    This sounds pretty sexy good to me – and, of course, bacon IS a vegetable. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. nina Says:

    You did not need a name for this post…the pictures says it all!!! Delicious, but in my opinion this is a main meal…I do not need anything else!! Well done!

  4. Bellini Valli Says:

    I am sold:D

  5. Terri Says:

    I would have never thought to put these together in one dish either, but it sounds delicious and definitely a dish I will have to try.

  6. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie Says:

    Awesome vegetable dish and so yummy with bacon!

  7. Joan Nova Says:

    Foie gras milkshake??? I don’t know about that but I love that bowl of vegetable goodness with bacon!

  8. grace Says:

    i had no idea bacon was a vegetable–good to know! :)
    i think anything that has the potential to supply all those flavors is bound to be a winner–very nicely done!

  9. Sophie Says:

    I love those combinations, it is all about good ingredients & how to combine their natural & lovely flavours!!! MMMM….

  10. heather Says:

    hah! now that i know bacon is a vegetable, i can add it into my diet so much more without feeling guilty!! thanks, mike :)

  11. pam Says:

    What a great combination! Of course, anything with bacon is a great combination.

  12. Peter Says:

    A bowl of veggies never looked better. This quartet needs…some more cowbell! 😉

  13. Fran Z Says:

    Whoa- I would not have thought to put these together either- but now I can imagine how good they would taste together! Thanks!

  14. Dragon Says:

    I bet the bacon is amazing in this dish. Yum!

  15. Selba Says:

    Definitely looks yummy….

  16. EAT! Says:

    Roasting vegetables is the way to go. Easy to prepare, easy clean up and delicious vegetables. The bacon takes them to the next level.

  17. Toni Says:

    Of course this works! Bacon, when added to almost anything in the world, makes everything taste better, and makes your kitchen smell divine!

  18. joanne at frutto della passione Says:

    Too funny. Bacon can be anything it wants to be as far as I’m concerned. I have to admit that I frequently roast potatoes and carrots together ( sometimes I even mash them together too) but why oh why did I never add bacon???

  19. Elle Says:

    I love this! It has all of my favorite things in it. And you can’t go wrong with bacon, can you?

  20. Chez US Says:

    Your brought Sexy back to carrots! I think the dish sounds incredible and one can never go wrong with some bacon added!! Great photo, too!

  21. Olga Says:

    For the longest time I thought I hated fennel…but I was wrong :)

    This looks like a great dish, especially with the addition of bacon.

  22. lisa (dandysugar) Says:

    I love fennel…I think it would be great in a bowl of veggies such as this! This dish is so colorful and full of great flavor! Nice photo too.

  23. The Duo Dishes Says:

    Whoever does not think that sounds great upon first hearing it is delusional. It sounds really delicious. Bacon and fennel=love.

  24. Kristen Says:

    This looks delicious – what a great side dish or a main dish, if you are a potato lover like me! Looks fantastic.

  25. brilynn Says:

    Bacon’s an essential part of all vegetable quartets… or any quartet for that matter…

  26. Bunny Says:

    Mike who wouldn’t love this, it sounds so good!

  27. mikky Says:

    i don’t think this strange, in fact, i have to agree with you, this is the perfect side dish for me … great combo… :)

  28. Jan Says:

    Sounds and looks yummy to me – I love all the colours and the addition of bacon makes it all the better!

  29. Lynn Says:

    Yum! You just can’t go wrong with bacon.

  30. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    I’d definitely take this dish over the fois gras milkshake! It looks like the perfect side. I really love fresh fennel in vegetable dishes, and the bacon puts it over the top!

  31. Jude Says:

    Excuse the poor verbiage but I bet this quartet really sings. har har.
    The foie gras milkshake sound wrong on so many levels but I want it.

  32. Emma Says:

    WOW!!!! We just made this as a side dish…this was an amazing addition to our meal. Thank you! Delicious. we will make it again and again.

  33. Spatchcocked Dijon and Anise Roast Chicken from Mike's Table Says:

    […] Vegetable Quartet (Fingerling Potatoes, Carrots, Fennel, and Bacon!) […]

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