When I worked in Aix-en-Provence, head chef Jean-Marc Banzo taught me one thing I’ll never forget about cooking vegetables. He loved to saute or fry leeks until they almost fell apart. The same thing applies to fennel. This technique concentrates the flavour and changes the texture and the result is incredibly delicious. I have combined these vegetables to make a creamy, crunchy gratin that will leave you wanting more.
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|2 large||Leeks, sliced in half then in 1 cm slices|
|2 medium||Fennel bulbs, sliced in ½ cm slices|
|2 tsp||Garlic, grated|
|1 tsp||Fresh rosemary, finely chopped|
|2 tsp||Fresh thyme, picked|
|¾ cup||Cheddar cheese, grated|
|½ cup||Grated parmesan cheese, use real Parmigiano-Reggiano|
|¾ cup||Panko breadcrumbs|
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- Heat oven to 200C. In a large frying pan heat olive oil and butter on a medium heat. Add leeks, fennel and garlic and gently fry stirring often until vegetables begin to wilt.
- Season with salt, add herbs then turn heat down and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until completely softened, stirring now and then.
- Stir through the cream, cheddar and half the parmesan. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden and crisp on top.