Fennel adds a snappy undertone to velvety potato gratin without being overpowering. It balances the richness of the cheese.—Nancy Roth, Saint Joseph, Illinois
- 1 small fennel bulb, sliced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- 3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
- In a large skillet, saute fennel in oil until tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.
- Layer half of the potatoes, fennel and sauce in a greased 2-qt. baking dish; repeat layers. Cover and bake at 375° for 55 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with bread crumbs; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Potato and Fennel Gratin in Country Woman October/November 2010, p36
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