Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Fennel Gratin

These past few days, the weather here in New Orleans hinted at the start of fall - my absolute favorite time of year.  I love everything about fall!  I love the cool crisp air and the pumpkins that have started to pop up on people's porches.  I love pumpkin spice lattes, and oversized sweaters.  But most of all, I love that fall brings me a renewed desire to spend lots of time in the kitchen.  I love to open a window and let the outside air creep in as I begin to roast and stew and bake. 

 I found this recipe for a fennel gratin and decided it will be on my menu for dinner this week.  I absolutely love cooking with fennel.  In the spring, I favor using them in raw form as a crunchy addition to salads, and in the fall, I love roasting them.  I have never tried them like this though.  It sounds perfectly rich and delicous.

Fennel Gratin
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tbsp. butter, cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 cups hot chicken stock
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange fennel in a 10" baking dish, and scatter butter and garlic around fennel. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add hot stock and bake until tender and browned, about 1 1/2 hours.
2. Preheat broiler. Spoon cream over fennel, sprinkle nutmeg over cream, then sprinkle fennel with parmigiano-reggiano. Broil until golden, about 1 minute.
Do you cook with fennel? What's your favorite fall dish?

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