Potato-Leek Gratin with Fennel
Makes 4-6 servings
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
1 fennel bulb, trimmed
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 leeks, white and green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound russet potatoes (2 large potatoes), peeled and sliced as thin as possible
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese (1/4 pound)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Butter the inside of an 8 x 8 inch baking dish, or alternatively, 4 oven-proof gratin dishes or soup bowls.
3. Cut the fennel bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise, making approximately 4 cups of sliced fennel. Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the leeks and sauté for 4 minutes more.
4. Mix the potatoes in a large bowl with 1 cup of cream, 1 cup of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel, onion, and leek mixture and mix well.
5. Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining cream and Gruyère and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.