Roast fennel & bread gratin
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 2-4 as a side
Serve this roast fennel and sourdough gratin as a side dish alongside roast chicken, or with some salad leaves tossed in a mustardy dressing
- 2 small fennel bulbs , bases trimmed, bulbs cut lengthways into 1cm-thick wedges
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 2 thick slices sourdough
- 100ml milk
- 50ml white wine
- 20g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated, plus extra to serve
- 150g crème fraîche or double cream
- grating of nutmeg
- handful of mixed soft herbs , roughly chopped (parsley and tarragon work well)
- STEP 1
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the fennel with the olive oil to coat it on a baking tray or in a gratin dish, adding a pinch of sea salt and the thyme leaves. Roast for 20 mins, tossing halfway through, until softened and caramelised.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, tear the sourdough into chunks, tip into a bowl and pour over the milk and wine. Set aside. Combine the parmesan with the crème fraîche and season with salt, pepper and a little grated nutmeg.
- STEP 3
Once the fennel is roasted, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Add the soaked bread to the fennel, and mix together. Pour over the crème fraîche mixture and half the herbs, and stir to coat the bread and fennel. Grate over a little extra cheese, then bake for another 25-30 mins, or until golden, bubbling and crisp at the edges. Top with the remaining herbs.
FENNEL BAKED EGGS
Tip any leftover fennel gratin into a smaller baking dish, create a few gaps in the mix using a spoon, and crack an egg into each. Bake at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 until the whites are set, the yolks runny, and the veg, hot.