Ina Garten is my new go-to person for fennel recipes. Her Onion and Fennel Soup Gratin, which I just made last week was so good I decided to try her Potato Fennel Gratin recipe.
Ina's recipe calls for a buttered casserole dish for baking the gratin. I decided to use the same pan that I used to saute the onions and fennel since the handles were safe to go in the oven. One pan to clean was the bonus!
I also think the stainless steel helped conduct the heat better, giving the gratin a wonderful crusty top. I also have a fondness for crusty potatoes!
This would be a delicious side dish with almost anything meat, fish or poultry! Thanksgiving?
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Recipe found Here
My adapted recipe serves 4
1 fennel bulb
1/2 very large onion, thinly sliced (like Vidalia or other sweet onion)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (I substituted 1/2 cup of fat free half and half)
1-1/2 cups grated Gruyère or good Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the fennel stalks and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the core and thinly slice the bulb crosswise. You should have approximately 2 cups of sliced fennel. Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium heat for 15 minutes, until tender and slightly browned.
Peel the potatoes and slice. (Using a mandoline makes quick work of this step.) Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 1 cup of cream, 1 cup of Gruyère, salt and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well. (I did all of the mixing in the pan I used to saute the onions and fennel).
If not using a large saute pan as I did, pour the potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.
Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.