Even if you don’t like fennel, we swear you’ll love this gluten-free braised fennel recipe. It tastes like a gratin, only better, and with it comes a hearty dose of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and general deliciousness. Its high fiber content supports digestion, too. Talk about a win-win-win.
The hardest part about making this recipe is waiting for it while it bubbles and browns in the oven. We like it with sea bass, pork chops, or a mild sausage, or even as a brunch side, lunch, or a light supper with a few thin slices of prosciutto.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 small bulbs fennel stalks removed
- 2 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- White pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a 9 by13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Slice the fennel from top to root, into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and layer the slices, along with the shallots, in the baking dish, sprinkling 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, and the nutmeg between each layer, making two layers total. Dot the top with 2 tablespoons of butter, pour the milk over the fennel, and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue to cook for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the fennel is very tender and the milk is thickened and almost absorbed. Sprinkle with the cheese, dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter, and return to the oven until browned and bubbly, another 20 minutes.