Fennel Gratin

finocchi gratinati
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
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Preparation:
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.

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