Now I love fennel, we are looking for all sorts of excuses to eat it. This version owes a lot to Delia Smith, a bit to Yotam Ottolenghi , and a lot to D’s invention. The result was scrumbo, ideal for a light lunch. D remembered eating a divine dish of fennel gratin ‘somewhere’, so he set out to recreate it. The memory involved potato. The basics came from Delia. The addition of tomato is an Ottolenghi thing [see below].
Serves 3-4 people [according to Delia, but we ate the whole thing in one sitting]
3 bulbs fennel
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
250m double cream [we used longlife nata para cocinar]
Large tomato, sliced [it looks more decorative if use cherry tomatoes, like Ottolenghi. D used what we had in the fridge]
Breadcrumbs, about 2 slices
50g parmesan finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/gas 2.
Grease a shallow gratin dish.
Peel the potatoes, slice thinly. We par-boiled them first, as they take longer to cook than fennel and we didn’t one them to be raw in the finished dish.
Prepare the fennel by discarding the outer leaves and the tough stalk. Slice thinly.
Layer the par-cooked potato and fennel slices in the dish, give each layer a sprinkling of garlic, salt and pepper before adding the next.
Mix together the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan, and set aside.
Mix together the milk and cream, and pour over the potatoes. Dot the top with the butter. Bake on the highest shelf of the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture over the top and decorate with sliced tomatoes. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes. 5 to remember
la excusa – excuse
la versión – version
algún lugar – somewhere
divino/a – divine
el bulbo – bulb of plant
‘Complete Cookery Course’ by Delia Smith