Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Fennel Gravy

Recipe 20 minPreparation Time 75 minCooking Time
Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Fennel Gravy

Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Fennel Gravy

20 minPreparation Time 75 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

Along with their vivid complementary colors, the two main flavors here mesh beautifully. They come at sweetness from opposite directions — earthy and herbal — and meet in the middle to create a sublime accompaniment to all manner of autumn dishes.

The Benefits

Sweet potatoes and fennel are both excellent sources of fiber, and your spuds will be super high in beta-carotene if they’re orange and anthocyanins if they’re purple. Yogurt and butter both add some protein and healthy fats.

Equipment: juicer


Serves 4 to 6
  • 3 large (about 1½ pounds / 650 g) sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh-grated nutmeg
  • 1 large fennel bulb, including stalks, fronds trimmed and reserved
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) butter
  • 2 Tbsp (20 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Step 1
    Poke the sweet potatoes a few times with a fork to create holes for steam to escape. Put them on a baking sheet and bake until they’re very soft, 45 to 55 minutes. Let them cool until you can easily handle them, then halve them and scoop the flesh out into a bowl. Add the yogurt and salt and use a microplane to grate in about 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. Use an immersion blender to make a smooth purée. Taste for salt and adjust, if necessary, then set aside.
  2. Step 2
    Juice the fennel; you should have at least 1 cup of juice. (Letting a few fronds run through the juicer will yield a greener juice.) Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and let it just begin to brown, 3 minutes. At that point, add the flour and stir it well to combine with the butter. Let the roux cook gently, stirring, until the mixture turns a fragrant, nutty light brown, 1 minute. At that point, add the fennel seed and juice and whisk them into the roux, adding the salt as you whisk. Bring it to a simmer and cook until it thickens, about 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. Pour the gravy into a serving bowl or pitcher.
  3. Step 3
    Warm the sweet potato purée, if necessary, then spoon a mound of them on each plate and make a little crater in the top, like a volcano. (Whistle the theme from Close Encounters while you do it for maximum enjoyment.) Fill the crater with gravy, sprinkle on some chopped fennel fronds, and serve.