Fennel & tomato gratin

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4
This is a great meat-free main dish with a salad, or serve it with roast pork or lamb

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled / halved
  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal220
  • fat14g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre5g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.86g
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    For the fennel

    • 3 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 4 heads of fennel, trimmed (fronds kept) and cut into thin wedges
    • 2 garlic clove, chopped
    • 400g can chopped tomato

    For the topping

    • 85g white bread
    • 50g Parmesan, grated



      Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

    • handful fennel fronds
    • zest 1 lemon



      Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

    • handful black olive, pitted


    1. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the fennel, cover and stew over a low heat for 15 mins. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 10-20 mins until the fennel is soft (the timing depends on how thick the fennel is). Add the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins until the fennel is coated in a thick tomato sauce. Tip everything into a shallow gratin dish. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 4.

    2. While the fennel is cooking, tip all the topping ingredients except the olives into a food processor and blitz to crumbs. Add the olives and pulse until chopped, but not blended. Scatter the crumbs generously over the fennel, drizzle with the rest of the oil, then bake for 20 mins until golden.

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    Comments (19)

    crazycanuck's picture

    We have baby fennel growing in the back yard. I'm going to try this tonight with fish, perhaps treat us all to Halibut! It sounds really good. Thank's.

    wendycadman's picture

    Loved this! Used two heads of fennel and 3 desertspoons olive oil but kept to 400g can chopped tomatoes. For topping used wholemeal bread. No olives in cupboard so substituted 1 desertspoon of basil pesto. Next time will add chopped walnuts to topping mix for added protein and crunch. Great as a vegetarian main meal for two or, as others suggest, with a firm white fish.

    badgerchick's picture

    Excellent - my first time cooking with fennel bulbs and I just loved the flavours in the gratin.

    I'm on a weight loss plan at the moment so I changed the topping - I dried out some extra firm tofu and blitzed that in the blender with a few chopped almonds, lemon zest and fennel fronds. It still gave that lovely crumbly flavour but also added protein to the dish.

    blackbird17's picture

    Nice recipe. I often make a fennel gratin but usually use sliced onions as well. It was the lovely topping however that made this really diferent. I halved this recipe for just the two of us and served it last night with little potatoes and green beans from the garden that I froze in September. Delicious.

    merulapie's picture

    Very easy to make and it tasted lovely.

    shudie's picture

    We loved this! Very tasty indeed.

    sallygermany's picture

    I found it took me quite a long time to soften the fennel, so added a little cider with the tomatoes and cooked down some more, worked a treat and really lovely.

    rachel8084's picture

    I found this really tasty, the topping was delish. But it was very time consuming!

    rachel8084's picture

    Roberta -The tops of the fennel. (if still intact)

    I am trying this tonight, serving with seabass.

    camrob79's picture

    What are fronds?

    lucypenny's picture

    dead simple and delicious! i had it on its own, but also like the sounds of it as a side with fish. will definitely be having this again

    goldfinger's picture

    I have never tried Fennel before, but this dish was simply gorgous, and very easy to make

    goldfinger's picture

    I have never tried Fennel before, but this dish was simply gorgous, and very easy to make

    goldfinger's picture

    I have never tried Fennel before, but this dish was simply gorgous, and very easy to make

    heathereilbeck's picture

    Very easy. Looks and tastes wonderful. My family loved this when I made it as part of Easter Sunday lunch. None of us had ever actually tried fennel before and so we didn't really know what to expect but everyone loved it and there wasn't a scrap left. We're all looking forward to having this again soon.

    elsbeth's picture

    The breadcrumbs make it really interesting. I added whole black olives in with the fennel and tomatoes, and served it with some grilled white fish and bread. Great dish!

    eleanormayo's picture

    Delicious & low fat too...especially as gratins are normally loaded with cream & cheese so this makes a great lighter alternative.

    knickers68's picture

    this is lovely, and can be eaten even as a meal on its own .

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