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Baked Fennel au Gratin

Source: Cooking at a Glance - Vegetables & Grains
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Active Time:  10 Minutes
Total Time:  50 Minutes
  Makes 6 side-dish servings
Fresh fennel, which looks a little like celery, has a light licorice flavor and a celerylike texture. This classic gratin of fennel, baked in bechamel sauce and topped with grated cheese, is well suited to dressier meals.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Two 1 pound fennel bulbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups half and half, light cream, or milk
1/3 cup shredded Swiss or gruyere cheese  
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan or romano cheese  
1 tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs
Baked Fennel au Gratin Recipe at Cooking.com
DIRECTIONS
Trim the fennel stalks to within 1 inch of bulb, reserving some of the feathery leaves. Quarter bulbs, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. (You should have 4 cups sliced fennel.) Place in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and steam for about 10 minutes, or till tender. Transfer to a 2 quart rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt margarine or butter. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add half-and-half, light cream, or milk all at once; cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Add Swiss or Gruyere cheese; stir till melted. Remove from heat. Pour sauce evenly over fennel in dish.


In a small bowl stir together Parmesan or romano cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over top. Cover and bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 25-30 minutes, or till hot and bubbly. Garnish with reserved fennel leaves, if desired.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes 6 side-dish servings
Calories: 231
Fat. Total: 16g
Fiber: 5g
Carbohydrates, Total: 18g
Sodium: 248mg
% Cal. from Fat: 62%
Cholesterol: 47mg
Protein: 7g
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