Potato-Fennel Gratin

This was my first time ever cooking with fennel and it was a great way to teach the boys about a new food. I was starting to put the fennel bulbs in the grocery cart and their natural curiosity took over and it sounded something like this…”What is THAT?”

2 small fennel bulbs
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds russet potatoes (4 large potatoes)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (1/2 pound)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the inside of a 10-by-15-by-2-inch (10-cup) baking dish.

Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise, making approximately 4 cups of sliced fennel.

Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.

Peel the potatoes, then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline.

Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.

Pour the potatoes into the 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.

We had this with rosemary and garlic steak kabobs and watermelon.

Did I change anything? I only cooked it for an hour and it was fine.

What did the family think? 75% of us loved this dish. (I bet you can guess who the other 25% was.) Our oldest even had seconds and wanted me to make the leftovers for him in a sandwich. (Which sounds gross to me.) What was good was putting some of the cheesy sauce from the potatoes on the steak we were eating with it.

Where did this recipe come from? Aggie’s Kitchen and she got it from Ina Garten

photo from Aggie’s Kitchen

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Side Dish, Vegetarian

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