Try this easy fennel gratin for a great wintertime comfort food.
Fresh fennel can be used in so many ways. I love it raw in the summertime in a salad. In the wintertime, it’s a great comfort food baked with cheese and makes a wonderful side to any meal.
Prep time: 45 minutes
- 2 large or 3 medium fresh fennel bulbs with fronds and tough outer layer removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, half-n-half or ricotta (optional)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper quanto basta (as much as needed; to taste)
Cut each fennel bulb into slices lengthwise and parboil in salted water until softened (about 10 minutes). Drain.
In a medium bowl, toss the drained fennel with olive oil, thyme, half of the parmigiano-reggiano cheese, cream (optional), salt, and pepper.
Pour mixture into a greased, 8 x 8 glass baking pan.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining parmigiano and top with the bread crumbs.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes until bubbly and the top is browned.