Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune restaurant in New York turned us on to this simple, classic Italian preparation. Baking fennel in the oven with cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese makes for a luxurious gratin with a delectable caramelized top.–James Oseland
LC Spoiler Alert Note
No fewer than 13 of our testers–a baker’s dozen–rushed to make this simple, satiating, stunning side dish. And then promptly gushed, raved, and waxed poetic about it. If you aren’t quite convinced this fennel baked in cream recipe belongs on your table, but you are the type who doesn’t mind a movie review giving away the ending, by all means, skip ahead and read the reviews below the recipe before making it. But bear in mind, it’ll just delay your gratification.
Fennel Baked in Cream
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Serves 4
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 2 large bulbs) fennel, stalks removed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch wide wedges
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
- 2. In a bowl, toss together the fennel, cream, and 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish and dot with as much or as little of the butter as you wish, depending on how rich a dish you prefer. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 hour.
- 3. Uncover the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Continue baking, uncovered, until tender and the surface is well browned, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
In Advance Advice
- You can assemble the ingredients in the baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. (Hey, every minute matters!)