Fennel, taleggio, potato, parmesan and thyme gratin
- July 2017
- Serves 6 as a main
- Hands-on time 35 min, oven/grilling time 50 min
You’re never going to stray far wrong with a bubbling, oozy potato and fennel gratin. This one’s made with punchy taleggio, parmesan, fennel and thyme so it’s quite indulgent. Chef Jamie Thickett, who created the recipe, says:
”The gratin is quite rich, but for a lighter version you could replace the cream and milk with vegetable stock. This dish is also a great way to introduce fennel to those who are unsure, as the aniseed flavour mellows significantly when cooked.”
Try our popular stilton and bacon gratin too – it makes brilliant comfort food for chilly evenings.
- 62.2g (38.7g saturated)
- 19.7g (7.6g sugars)
- 500ml whole milk
- 500ml double cream
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 50g unsalted butter
- 400g desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 3mm slices (use a mandoline if you have one)
- 700g fennel, trimmed and finely cut into 3mm slices (use a mandoline if you have one)
- 100g taleggio cheese
- 50g mature parmesan, finely grated
You’ll also need…
- 2 litre shallow oven dish
- Put the milk, cream, garlic and half the thyme in a saucepan set on a low heat and cook until reduced by a third (15-20 minutes). Season and set aside (see Make Ahead).
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease the oven dish with most of the 50g butter and add a layer of potatoes, overlapping them as you put them in the dish, then season. Follow with a layer of overlapping fennel, then season again. Add a few pieces of taleggio, then pour over a little of the infused cream. Repeat until all the vegetables, cream and taleggio are used up. Press the layers down carefully with your hands and cover the top with a piece of foil, the underside greased with the remaining butter.
- Bake the gratin for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender and the cream is thick and bubbling. You should be able to push a sharp knife into the layers easily.
- Turn the grill to high. Sprinkle the parmesan and remaining thyme over the top of the gratin, then finish under the grill for 2-3 minutes until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve this as a meat-free main with a bitter leaf salad (or, if you want to cook everything, serve a little as a side with the chicken). To make it strictly vegetarian, swap the taleggio for vegetarian brie and the parmesan for a vegetarian alternative.
Reduce the cream mixture (step 1) up to a day ahead, then cool and keep covered in the fridge. Prepare the vegetables a few hours ahead and keep in a bowl of water in the fridge.
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