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Fennel Gratin
2 Fennel bulbs, about 1 & ½ lbs total weight
1 & ¼ cup milk cups milk
1 tbsp butter – plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp flour
3 oz Gruyere cheese grated (Parmesan or Pecorino also works well)
Bread crumbs
Salt/fresh ground & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 475º F

Trim & core fennel, discard fronds or save for other dishes or stock.
Slice into quarters and place in a large saucepan.
Pour in milk and simmer 10-15 minutes until tender. Butter a baking dish.

 

Remove fennel with slotted spoon, reserving milk and arrange and arrange fennel pieces in the buttered baking dish

Melt butter in a small saucepan, add flour. Stir well, gradually whisk in the reserved milk. Stir sauce until thickened.

Pour sauce over the fennel pieces, sprinkle with bread crumbs and grated cheese, season with salt & pepper and bake for 20 minutes - until browned.

* Sautéed onions and garlic works well with the fennel if desired.