Elizabeth David has a lovely recipe for gratineed fennel that is a simple and refreshing dish. It’s a dish that bakes fennel with cheese, and of course, butter. This dish can also be cooked in a covered BBQ.
We adore fennel, as you can tell by our recipes. It can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, grilled, BBQ’d, baked and gratineed. It can be cooked on it’s own, or combined with other ingredients. You can make soups, salads and sides. One of the easiest salads to make is to shave a fennel bulb and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. I dare you to make this and not eat the whole bowl by yourself, it is so delicious.
Florentine Fennel with Parmesan
Heat the oven to 190C. Trim fennel bulbs by trimming the top stalks, and removing the thick base as well as the tougher outer layers.
Slice the bulbs in half, lengthwise and plunge them into a saucepan of boiling salted water. Simmer for 7 – 10 minutes until tender (shorter time if using baby fennel), and then drain well.
While they are cooking, butter a gratin dish (or dishes, if necessary).
Arrange the fennel halves, cut side down. Strew breadcrumbs over them (about 1 Tblspn per bulb), then grated parmesan (1 Tblspn per bulb), and finally a few knobs of butter.
Put the gratin dish into the oven to cook for around 15 mins until the cheese and breadcrumbs are golden and bubbling.
Serve and enjoy.
recipe notes and alternatives
Drizzle with a little fresh pouring cream when cooked.
OR, add a squeeze of lemon, orange or cumquat juice around the fennel before placing in the oven.