Potato and fennel gratin with roasted shallots and sweet stem broccoli
( SERVES 8 )
Photo by Tam West
A mandolin makes this dish very quick to make and thinly sliced potatoes will reduce the cooking time as well. Don’t scrimp on the cream as it makes a luscious sauce around the potatoes and fennel. If using broccoli rather than the sweet shoots, cut the broccoli into florets.
For the potato and fennel gratin
For the roasted shallots
For the sweet stem broccoli
To make the potato and fennel gratin
- Heat the oven to 180C. Grease a deep medium-sized gratin dish.
- Blanch the sliced fennel bulb in lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain.
- Heat the cream in a large wide saucepan and add the garlic. Add the blanched fennel and potato slices. Season and bring to a simmer.
- Using a slotted spoon transfer the fennel and potato to the gratin dish. Pour over the cream and garlic, then sprinkle over half of the parmesan.
- Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until the fennel and potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and turn oven to grill.
- Mix together the remaining parmesan and breadcrumbs and scatter over the fennel and potatoes. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Place under the hot grill until golden and crisp.
To make the roasted shallots
- Heat the oven to 180C. Trim the ends of the shallots, place in a saucepan and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to the boil and cook shallots for 5 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins. Place shallots in an ovenproof dish and drizzle over the oil, vinegar and honey. Season with salt and toss well to coat.
- Place in the oven and cook until golden and soft, about 40 minutes. If the shallots are looking a bit dry, add a little water to the dish. If shallots need a bit more colour, pop them under the grill with the potato and fennel gratin.
To make the sweet stem broccoli
- Cook the sweet stem broccoli in lightly salted boiling water until just tender.
- Place the oil in a large frying pan and cook the garlic and chilli until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the sweet stem broccoli and cook until hot, tossing around the pan as you heat.
- Place in a serving bowl, season with salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice.