Fennel Gratin With Lemon

This is a wonderful dish with layers  of flavours and, with the crumb topping, texture as well.  Can be made a day ahead, chilled in the refrigerator and before using, let stand at room temperature for an hour  before baking.

  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, halved and cut in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and cut in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • pinch of salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest

Butter a 2 qt. baking dish. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute the onion and garlic, taking care not to brown or burn. This should take about 4-5 minutes.

Add the fennel and saute only until the fennel has softened slightly and beginning to brown. Stir often and watch it doesn’t burn. Should take about 15-17 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until almost completely absorbed.  Stir in the lime zest.

Transfer to the baking dish and start the crumb topping. At this time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


Crumb Topping

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Pecorino cheese
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1  1/2 tsp. grated lime zest

Melt the butter in a frypan and add the Panko breadcrumbs. Saute until starting to turn golden in colour. Remove from the heat and cool down to room temperature. Add the cheese and zest to the crumb mixture.

Top the fennel mixture with the crumbs and bake for about 20 minutes until the topping is a deep caramel colour. Serve warm.

This is quite yummy.


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