This flavourful and elegant side dish is the perfect accompaniment to any roast. Fennel mellows as it cooks, adding just the right amount of aromatic sweetness to the final dish. Assemble the gratin the day before, leaving only the topping and baking to take care of prior to dinner. Cost: $1.70 per serving
- Prep time 35 minutes
- Total time 1 hour
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small bulb fennel trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1.2 kg yellow-fleshed potatoes (about 8) peeled and cut in 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices
- 1 1/2 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth
- 1 cup whipping cream (35%)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
Gratin: In large nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove to paper towel–lined plate to drain. Chop bacon into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces. Set aside.
Reserving 2 tsp of the fat, drain pan; wipe clean. Return reserved fat to pan. Add oil; heat over medium-high heat. Cook fennel and carrots, stirring and adding water, 1 tbsp at a time, if fennel begins to stick to pan, just until fennel is softened, about 7 minutes. Remove to plate.
In same pan, bring potatoes, broth, cream, milk, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Whisk flour with 1/4 cup water. Move potatoes to 1 side of pan; whisk flour mixture into opposite side until smooth. Add bacon and fennel mixture; cook, stirring, until potatoes are fork-tender, about 2 minutes. Discard thyme.
Spoon half of the potato mixture into greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish; sprinkle with Gruyère. Scrape remaining potato mixture over top. (Make-ahead: Let cool completely; cover with foil. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat, covered, on bottom rack of 425°F/220°C oven for 45 minutes before continuing with recipe.)
Topping: Stir together bread crumbs, Gruyère and butter. Sprinkle over potato mixture.
Bake on bottom rack of 425°F (220°C) oven until top is golden, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Nutritional facts per each of 10 servings: about
- Fibre 3 g
- Sodium 460 mg
- Sugars 4 g
- Protein 11 g
- Calories 344.0
- Total fat 21 g
- Potassium 830 mg
- Cholesterol 62 mg
- Saturated fat 11 g
- Total carbohydrate 30 g
- Iron 11.0
- Folate 15.0
- Calcium 22.0
- Vitamin A 61.0
- Vitamin C 33.0