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Potato-Fennel Gratin (updated)

  • 2 fennel bulbs, stalks removed
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled (4 large potatoes)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 2 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese, divided (½ pound)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 10 x 15 x 2-inch (10 cup) baking dish.

Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise and slice them crosswise, making approximately 4 cups of sliced fennel. Put the olive oil and butter in a medium (10-inch) sauté pan and sauté the fennel and onions together over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender.

Thinly slice the potatoes by hand or with a mandoline. Place them in a large bowl with the 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the fennel and onion mixture and mix well.

Pour the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Press down lightly to smooth the top. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and ½ cup of Gruyère and sprinkle evenly on the top.  Bake for between 1 and 1¼ hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve hot.

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved.

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