- 4 large fennels
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
Whenever I make this recipe, I always prep and freeze extra fennel to save time on a rushed evening.
Clean the fennels and quarter them. Cook in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes and let them cool (Now you can separate the extra fennel quarters and freeze them for future use. This allows you to prepare the gratin in just 15 minutes!).
Prepare a Florentine-style béchamel. Heat a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over low heat. Add the tbsp of flour and stir immediately with a whisk. Add the milk, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg, and let boil for a few minutes while constantly stirring. Remove from the heat.
Grease a baking dish. Thinly slice the fennel quarters and spread them as a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Pour the béchamel over the sliced fennel and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake at 390°F until the gratin surfaces turns golden brown.
Fennel can be a difficult vegetable, the hint of licorice is often unpopular. However it has an extremely low calorie count (just 9 calories for every 3 1/2 ounces!) and a delicate, fresh flavor. Fennel is delicious alongside boiled octopus, sliced paper-thin and dressed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.