Light and a little bit sweet, fennel bulb has hint of anise. Served with layers of melted parmesan, gruyere, and mozzarella cheese – fennel au gratin hits all the right notes of texture and flavor.
What’s that…no gluten, you say? No problem. Instead of bread crumbs, this gratin uses cauliflower crumbs. Making it gluten free and extra delicious. Serve fennel au gratin alongside Sauteed Zucchini with Mint, Basil, and Pine Nuts for a plant-based extravaganza.
Fennel Au Gratin
- 2 oz parmesan cheese
- 2 oz Gruyere cheese
- 2 oz mozzarella
- 4 fennel bulbs
- 1 pinch sea salt, plus more to taste
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 2 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. fennel fronds, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375F. Shred cheese.
- Cut off the fronds and stems of the fennel and save them for garnish or a different creation; they are delicious in fish or chicken broths. Cut the bulbs in quarters, remove the woody cores and slice into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the fennel and allow to cook for 5 minutes, or until the fennel is almost tender. Drain well.
- In a bowl toss the cooked fennel with a third of the olive oil.
- Cut cauliflower in chunks that will fit into your food processor. Use the grating blade to make cauliflower crumbs.
- In a clean bowl, mix cauliflower crumbs with onion powder, butter, parmesan, gruyere, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Mix half of the cauliflower crumb mixture with the fennel. Add the fennel and crumbs to the greased pan. Now, layer the mozzarella cheese and top with the remainder of the cauliflower crumb mixture. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the tippy-top.
- Cover the pan and place in preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the cover and bake until cheese is golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.