Fennel Gratin 

By: The Local Palate
fennel gratin
Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Revelations by Steven Satterfield. Copyright © 2023. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Photo courtesy of Andrew Thomas Lee.

When fennel is cooked long and slow, it develops a mellow sweetness and meltingly soft texture. In this mac-and-cheese-inspired gratin by chef Steven Satterfield, strands of sliced fennel are baked in a creamy béchamel sauce with nutty gruyère and sharp white cheddar. It may very well become your new favorite indulgence, and there are vegetables in every forkful.

recipe heading-plus-icon


Serves 6 to 8

  • 4 large (or 6 small) fennel bulbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 3½ cups whole milk, warmed
  • 5 ounces gruyère cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 5 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven with a rack in the center to 375 degrees. Cut fennel bulb into ⅛-inch-thick matchsticks. In a shallow, 2-quart baking dish, place fennel and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in warm milk until smooth. Bring to gentle simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Add both cheeses, salt and pepper. Whisk until cheese is melted and incorporated.
  3. Pour cheese sauce over fennel. Stir well to combine. Scatter breadcrumbs evenly across surface of fennel. Press with palms of your hands so they get coated in cheese sauce.
  4. On a rimmed baking sheet, place dish and bake, uncovered, until crumbs on top are deep golden brown and cheese sauce is hot and bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving fennel gratin.
  • Recipe By
    Adapted from Vegetable Revelations by Steven Satterfield (Harper Wave). Copyright © 2023.
  • Contributing City

Keep Reading


Cauliflower Gratin

Make the mornay sauce: In a small saucepot over medium heat, melt butter and [...]


Grilled Eggplant Caponata Gratin

This eggplant caponata takes the cake for prettiest dish. Perfect for a picnic, party, [...]

Leave a Reply

Be the first to comment.

The Wine Lover Issue


1 year for only $24.99

1 year
for only $24.99

Subscribe and Save 72%!

Suscribe Now
The Travel Issue