This Potato Leek and Fennel Gratin loaded with fontina and parmesan cheese is perfectly browned with crispy edges and tender, creamy scalloped potatoes. A delicious holiday side dish you can prep ahead!
While the kids prefer mashed, I’ll take scalloped any day of the week. The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless! And in full disclosure, when it comes to filling my holiday platter, I’m strategically eyeing all the sides first, reserving plenty of real estate for the potato prep of choice.😉
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Potato Leek and Fennel Gratin
Leeks and fennel team up perfectly here layered between the thinly sliced potatoes and handfuls of cheese.
Fennel kicks things off and is topped with fennel fronds, fresh parsley, salt and pepper.
Next, half of the potatoes join in and are topped with half of the sautéed leeks and cheeses.
Then repeat! Fennel, herbs, potatoes, leeks, cheese. Using a mandolin to slice the potatoes makes that task a breeze. There are several models out there from elaborate to simple. I’ve found the simpler, handheld version the easiest to use and clean.
Once the second layer is complete, hot chicken broth and cream is poured over top before popping the assembled gratin in the oven.
In a little over an hour, most of the liquid will be absorbed and the top will become a deep golden brown. The full recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd and can easily be halved for a smaller group. Enjoy!
Here are more crowd-pleasing sides!
- Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables
- Winter Citrus Salad w/ Avocado & Goat Cheese
- Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes & Squash
- Balsamic Roasted Green Vegetables
- Mushroom Stuffed Portobellos
- Broccoli Kale Apple & Cranberry Slaw (by Joyous Apron)
Essential kitchen tools
Potato Leek and Fennel Gratin
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only sliced into ¼-inch half moons
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large fennel bulbs with fronds, trimmed, cored, thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons fronds reserved
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 pounds red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Arrange half of sliced fennel in a single layer in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, half of the parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange half of sliced potatoes overlapping slightly on top of the fennel and herbs. Top potatoes with half of leek mixture. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half of fontina and grated parmesan cheese.
- Repeat layering with remaining fennel, fennel fronds, parsley, potatoes, leek mixture, and cheeses. Sprinkle assembled gratin with salt and pepper.
- Bring chicken stock and whipping cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour mixture over gratin.
- Bake uncovered until vegetables are very tender, liquid is almost absorbed and top is deep golden brown, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature covered in foil. Rewarm covered in 375°F oven 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!
*Adapted from Bon Appétit, November 1999
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