Potato & Fennel Gratin
This Potato & Fennel Gratin is absolutely delicious. I love it served with Roast Chicken. Look out for firm green bulbs of fennel from Italy during the winter months. It is best to use a waxy potato such as Charlotte, Vivaldi or Ratte potatoes.
Ingredients – Potato & Fennel Gratin
- 2 Bulbs Fennel
- 400g Waxy Potatoes
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 250ml Double Cream
- Salt & Pepper
- 40g parmesan finely grated
- Peel and slice the potatoes about ½ cm thick and dry well with a tea towel. It is important to dry them well.
- Trim and wash the fennel, cutting off the tough stalks, then cut in half and cut in slices from the stalk, to keep the slices intact.
- Keep the green fronds for sprinkling over.
- Crush the garlic with a little salt and then heat the cream and garmic togethere in a small pot until warm.
- Chop the thyme and sprinkle over the potatoes and fennel.
- In a baking dish add a single layer of potatoes with a good drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper.
- Add a layer of fennel and again a good drizzle of oil, salt & pepper.
- Repeat with another layer of potatoes and a final layer of fennel, salt, pepper and the green fronds chopped up.
- Pour over the hot cream and garlic.
- Cover with a single layer of baking paper and a layer of foil.
- Bake for 50 minutes, the potatoes should feel tender if you put a sharp knife into them.
- Then remove the foil & paper and sprinkle over the parmesan.
- Bake for another 20 minutes or so uncovered until caramelised and cooked through.
If need be, turn the oven up at the end to caramelise the top.
What does fennel taste like ?
It has a mild aniseed flavour and can be eaten raw or cooked. I love it thinly sliced in salads. It works particularly well with pomegranate seeds and fresh orange segments which are also in season in the winter months.
It is also delicious and easily roasted which is how I cook it most often.
Be sure to take off and discard the tough stalks. Cut them off at an angle at the top of the bulb and discard the outer layer if tough looking or discoloured.