Fennel and Gruyere Gratin (4)

Another recipe from Nigella Lawson’s ” Cook, Eat, Repeat”.

Fennel and Gruyere Gratin (4)
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Fennel and Gruyere Gratin (4)
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  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan. Cut off the chimney-like stems from the fennel, then halve the bulbs, cut away most of the core and cut each half into 3 or 4 wedges. Keep the offcuts for stock and the fronds for salads.
  2. Put these wedges into a heavy-based pan that comes with a tightly fitting lid – I use one of 22cm diameter – and pour over the vermouth, then bring to the boil over high-ish heat with the lid on. Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer robustly for 15 minutes or until the fennel wedges feel soft when you prod them with a fork. Lift up the lid and check after 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and, with tongs or a couple of forks, transfer the now bedraggled fennel to a round, shallow dish of about 25cm diameter or a 2 litre gratin dish. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  4. Meanwhile, finely grate the cheese and peel the garlic. Measure the double cream into a jug, then mince or grate in the garlic, add the sea salt flakes, grind over the pepper, and stir in the grated cheese and the Dijon mustard followed by the l juices from the pan.
  5. 5. Whisk to mix before pouring over the softened fennel in its dish. Use a spoon and fork to turn the fennel in the cream, so that it’s well coated, leaving it in a single layer. You may need to press down a bit on the fennel to make sure it’s submerged, though don’t worry if some of it is poking up.
  6. 6. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the gratin is bubbling, its top bronzed in places. Let the dish sit for about 10 minutes out of the oven before serving.
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