Fennel, taleggio, potato, parmesan and thyme gratin

Fennel, taleggio, potato, parmesan and thyme gratin
  • Serves icon Serves 6 as a main
  • Time icon Hands-on time 35 min, oven/grilling time 50 min

You’re never going to stray far wrong with a bubbling, oozy potato and cheese 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.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
701kcals
Fat
62.2g (38.7g saturated)
Protein
12.8g
Carbohydrates
19.7g (7.6g sugars)
Fibre
5.1g
Salt
0.6g
Calories
701kcals
Fat
62.2g (38.7g saturated)
Protein
12.8g
Carbohydrates
19.7g (7.6g sugars)
Fibre
5.1g
Salt
0.6g

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

delicious. tips

  1. 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.

  2. 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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