Browned Butter Fennel Gratin

Melissa checking in here…check one, two, check, check. Good! Let’s go!

I’ve cooked with fennel before but only once. I enjoyed it but the recipients of the dish didn’t find it as delightful as I did. I think that’s why I was looking forward to this dish because I want people to like fennel. 

This recipe came out of my Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. If you know me, then you know I love this magazine. I usually try to make at least one recipe from the magazine a month. And they always turn out great!


You can find the recipe here:



4 tablespoons butter

3 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and sliced crosswise

3 stalks celery, sliced

2 large Vidalia or other sweet yellow onions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices

6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup coarse Italian or French bread crumbs

2 tablespoons finely chopped hazelnuts

  Fresh dill sprigs

I rate this recipe high, 4.5 out of 5. The flavor of this dish is excellent but here were my challenges:


I put this on my meal plan as a main dish. WRONG! This is a side dish. I had to quickly figure out what else we would eat with this at the last minute. Maybe I should have known this because it’s a gratin, but I didn’t.

The grocery store I shop at was sold out of fresh fennel. So I bought endives in place and seasoned like crazy with fennel seeds. Since I plan on making this again and again, I will use the fresh fennel when it’s available. I felt this was a suitable substitute and I wasn’t disappointed.

Besides those two things, this side dish was great and it was half eaten between two of us the night I cooked it, then gone by the next day. I can picture eating this with baked chicken or even a pork chop and then putting a salad on the side.


This is a must make!

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