This potato fennel gratin is a favorite winter recipe that we make over and over again after harvesting potatoes from the garden. It always gets rave reviews whenever it gets made, even though it’s made from humble potatoes.
The ingredients fennel and Gruyère cheese really elevate what are basically au gratin potatoes into a special dish. It’s can go from the oven to the table, or can be cooked ahead and reheated at 350°F for 30 minutes – making it a truly versatile dish too.
I often substitute goat milk from our Nigerian Dwarf goats for the heavy cream because it’s so rich and creamy and we have it on hand.
This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.
- 2 small fennel bulbs
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 pounds baking potatoes (4 large potatoes)
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese (1/2 pound)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and butter the inside of a 10 x 15 x 2 inch or equivalent (10 cup) baking dish.
- Remove the stalks from the fennel, and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice crosswise to make approximately 4 cups of thinly sliced fennel.
- Saute the fennel and onions in the oil and butter until tender.
- Peel, thinly slice, and mix the potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyere, salt, and pepper. Add the sautéed fennel and onions and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and press down to smooth the potato tops. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup Gruyere and sprinkle over the top of the potatoes.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are just tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.