This creamy, rich, gluten free holiday side dish with a crunchy breadcrumb topping is the OMG accompaniment that’ll keep you and everyone else coming back to the buffet. While we created it for a Christmas feast, this dish is really spectacular any time of year.
Yukon Gold, Sweet Potato, and Caramelized Fennel Gratin Gluten-Free Recipe
Layered flavors and creamy texture is brilliantly contrasted by crunchy gluten-free breadcrumbs in this perfect side dish for any party, including holiday dinner or potlucks.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 5-1/2 tablespoons (about 2/3 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large fennel bulb white part only, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes very thinly sliced
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and very thinly sliced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter until the butter melts. Add the fennel and ½ teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Lower the heat to medium, cover the skillet, and let the fennel sweat until translucent and slightly softened, 6 minutes. Remove the lid, stir the fennel, then cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is softened, lightly browned, and slightly caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with 1½ teaspoons of the butter. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with about half the Yukon Gold and sweet potato slices, alternating and overlapping them. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste, then layer the caramelized fennel over the slices. Layer the remaining potato slices in an overlapping pattern; season with ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a saucepan, combine the cream, bay leaf, thyme sprig, nutmeg, and white pepper. Stir, bring to a simmer, then let the mixture reduce until it is slightly thicker and flavors have infused, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig, then pour the infused cream over the potatoes. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until a sharp knife inserted into the gratin easily glides through it, 50 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl and toss to mix. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the microwave (or in a small pan over medium heat), then pour it over the breadcrumb mixture. Mix to combine.
Lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Remove the foil from the baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the gratin, return it to the oven, and cook until the topping is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes, then serve.
Photography Nader Khouri