Potato-Fennel Gratin

Total Time:
2 hr 15 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
1 hr 45 min

Yield:
10 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 small fennel bulbs
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (4 large potatoes)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (1/2 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the inside of a 10-by-15-by-2-inch (10-cup) baking dish.

Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the 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 15 minutes, until tender.

Peel the potatoes, then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline. Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.

Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of 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.


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4.8 160
Just made these and they are the BEST potatoes I've had in some time!! ANd super easy!! Thanks again to Ina I have a keeper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for friends, it was a big hit. I didn't have enough cream on hand so I used 1 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of sour cream that I had on hand. I also made it a day ahead. It turned out great0 item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent recipe! Even my 2-year old couldn't have enough of it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The only potato gratin I'll ever make. No need to try other recipes, they can't beat this. It is a MUST on our holiday menus. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You need look no further for an impressive guest worthy potatoe gratin. Rich and decadent. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this for our annual girl scout potluck. Kids and adults alike loved this dish. I am going to make it again for the family Christmas party. Cannot recommend enough! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this on Friday for a Xmas potluck. I added 2 more potatoes, 3 cloves minced garlic, sliced leeks, along with some Herbs de Provence (per Dave Lieberman) & fresh grated nutmeg on top. Living at 6000 ft altitude, I baked at 375 for 2 total hrs (covered, then uncovered last 30 min). I let it rest for about 15 min & it set perfectly! An awesome hit with everyone, as there were no leftovers :(! Will def have to make this again! I love Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was a big success! I did make a couple of modifications. Instead of heavy cream, I used half and half. And I used less of it. For the final 2 tbsp of heavy cream for over the top, I substituted plain Greek yogurt with a little half and half and added the cheese. Overall, I reduced the amount of liquid and cheese added, to reduce fat and cholesterol, and it was still cheesy and delicious. Was sorry to have to leave leftovers at my Host's home. Will definitely make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These potatoes are divine. I make them all the time. The last time I made them a guest went back 4 times. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delish. I wanted some comfort food and this was the winner. I divided the recipe in half b/c I was only feeding two and we still had some left over. I reheated it the next day; it held its flavor beautifully. Thanks Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh the whole I am not a huge fennel fan....but I had a bulb intended for another recipe that I never ended up getting the rest of the ingredients for and was looking for something to do with my lurking fennel bulb. This was very tasty item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a lovely dish; my favorite is the crispy edges with the soft center! This has been a family staple for Easter for a decade! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This one's a real keeper. Will continue to use this for large holiday gatherings as it requires quite a bit of prep–– including dragging out the mandoline. Better to make a day ahead. Bring back to room temp and reheat at 325 for 40 mins. Comes out great. Gets raves from guests. Goes well with Ham or Beef Roast. Oh... Yukon Golds are the way to go. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best potato gratin ever. The fennel makes it amazing. I used a bit more cheese than the recipe called for only because I had two 6 oz wedges and thought, why not? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my "go to" potato recipe for dinner guests! I have used russet, gold and red potatoes, all work! For a lighter dish, I use half and half. An Ina classic! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe exactly, however, I did not care for it too much because it was overly rich. If I make it again, I would use plain 2% milk vs the cream the recipe recommends. I also felt like there was something missing in terms of flavor, but I can't put my finger on it. I would also recommend using Yukon gold vs the russet potato the recipe calls for. I have done gratins before and Yukon gold always holds up, the russet potato, unfortunately fell apart and it just didn't look pretty :( item not reviewed by moderator and published
We love scalloped potato dishes and have tried a lot. This will be my go to recipe for the holidays. Rich, creamy and very favorable. I followed recipe exactly but use 13x9 dish and was ready in 1 hour, For those who do not care for fennel you do not get a licorice taste. There is a unique flavor and the blend of fennel, onion, cheese and potatoes is wonderful. Thank you Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is absolutely amazing! I had only eaten fennel once in a French restaurant. I found the taste of the restaurant dish interesting but not a favorite. I am not a big fan of anise flavoring. This dish adds a fabulous complexity to au gratin potatoes. The only problem I had was staying away from the leftovers. I probably would not have had leftovers if it weren't for the fact there were only two of us. This is a must try dish! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Last night I served this to six of us and it was great! I made it earlier in the day. Next time would probably make it a day ahead. I had never made this before but that is the confidence I have in Ina's recipes. They are dependable and delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for Easter and it was delicious. Per the instructions in the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, I made this a day in advance. After 65 minutes in the oven, it was quite browned and a paring knife easily slid through the potatoes, so I let it cool on the counter for a bit before refrigerating it. The cookbook said to reheat it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, but I found it was very unevenly heated. Next time, I will take it out of the fridge 20 minutes or so before baking, or extend the baking time, or both. item not reviewed by moderator and published
delicious but the amount of cream is obscene. nice balance of fennel to potato. i added a bit of chive for color and flavor item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was the first dish to go at our Easter celebration. Absolutely delicious and easy to make. Thanks Ina item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been making this for years and it is always a hit. However, I have learned to use Yukon Gold potatoes rather than the russets. They hold their shape better but perhaps even more important - the end result looks so much prettier. The russets take on a grayish cast when they are cooked but the Yukon Golds retain their yellow color... much more appetizing. This is YUMMY STUFF!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Outstanding! Made for a friend's birthday party for 12. Increased the potatoes only by 1/3 and used half-and-half instead of heavy cream. Not a speck left in the pan. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my go to au gratin recipe for almost every holiday! Everyone loves them! And so easy to prepare. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an amazing combination and is always a huge hit! Not the healthiest meal... but for a party or holiday it is worth it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for dinner the other night and holy moly it was AMAZING!!!! I've been wanting to find a good recipe for gratin or scalloped potatoes because i dont really like making them for a box. It kinda freaks me out using dehydrated potatoes and powdered cheese. Well look no further because this is spot on fantastic!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best!! A real crowd pleaser :P item not reviewed by moderator and published
First time I ever cooked with fennel. Have to admit I'm not a fan of licorice and when I smelled it when cutting the two bulbs, I almost didn't use them. So glad I did. There really is no licorice taste (thank goodness once sautéed with the onions, nor in the finished dish. I was asked to bring this dish to Christmas dinner 2011. Guests absolutely were delighted with multiple helpings. I would highly recommend this high caloric dish for special occasions. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just made a quarter portion of this as a test for our Christmas Day meal. Oh my!!! This is so good I am trying not to eat it all and lick the casserole! The fennel really jazzes up the stolid taste of potatoes alone. This will be a winning accompaniment to our baked ham. Also making Ina's Applesauce for this meal. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am requested to make this each year and have so since it was first published. This is the best potatoes ever!!!! A must have for any special occasion. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow! This was so tasty... I ate a huge part before it even made it to the table.... I did substitute Brie for the cheese only bc I had it in the house and didn't want to make a special trip... It was amazing-try it!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious. My family loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Really delicious and easy. The cheese and fennel really make this dish stand out. I used fat free half and half in place of the cream to lighen it up and didnt miss the heavy cream at all! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Came out absolutely perfect! We also threw in a little parmesan and asiago and put it under the broiler to brown the top. Will definitely make it again. The fennel adds a really nice touch to otherwise bland scalloped potatoes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! item not reviewed by moderator and published
OMG! Flavors were subtle and delicious. I wanted to keep eating after I was full. Definately a company dish but good any time. Got a mandoline some time back and used it for potatoes, fennal, and onions. I halved the recipe - smaller container and 1 hour cooking time. This was not compliocated, esp. for the flavors it produced! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is one of my favorite recipes ever and I would eat it 24-7 if it wasn't so fattening. I think the people who said it didn't have "zip" probably didn't add enough salt and pepper because it is very flavorful. You can use regular swiss since gruyere is pretty expensive. I am going to try to par-boil the potatoes and use light cream so I can have it every couple months, not just 2 times a year. Just make sure you cook it low and slow because my mom gave me the wrong temp (too high and it was such a waste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good. I would make it again. I just thought it was missing some zip. As a quick fix, I added some pepper and fried onions. Not sure what I would do differently next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My whole family loves this dish and it is so easy to make. I've tried making scalloped potatoes all different kinds of ways and they never seem to turn out right...too dry or too runny! This recipe is always great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was truly a waste of money (over $5 for just the cheese and the lovely fennel was lost in the over richness of the sauce.I do love a lot of her recipes, but when she says "good mayo" or "good olive oil" it just makes me roll my eyes, because it is so unecessary and elitist. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my go-to gratin for the holidays - fantastic with roast beef, turkey, or quite frankly, all on its own! The fennel reduces down nicely and leaves just a hint of spice to the overall gratin. Simple, delicious and like almost all of Ina's recipes, it's a keeper! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Didn't know potato au gratin was easy to make. Also didn't realize what a great combination fennel is with potatoes, onions, cheese, and cream. Very very delicious the combination brings out the sweetness in the onions and is not overpowering. I ended up using smoked gruyere cheese and half and half cream and ended up not leaving any aside to put on top.... No worries though as I put strips of turkey bacon on top and let the whole thing cook. the fat from the bacon added another layer of flavor to the dish. Sooo good. Ina u rock :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina, you can call this whatever you want, a "gratin", but really this is just a big CASSEROLE. aint nothing wrong with the term esp. if its delicious like this one item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wasn't sure if my kids would eat this dish as fennel is not a commonly used vegetable in our house but I took a risk. Boy did it pay off! The kids and I didn't even get the dish to the table! Our tasting it from the baking dish turned into us hovering over and eating the entire thing as we stood in the kitchen! So good! The cheese has a strong, unique smell which caused my kids to start affectionately referring to this dish as the "stinky cheese potatoes". We have made it several times for special occassions and it is always a hit. item not reviewed by moderator and published
LOVED it. I used a mandolin for the vegetables. I didn't change a thing/1 item not reviewed by moderator and published
What a great au gratin !!! I loved that the fact that there was no cheddar cheese. It had clear distinct flavors with the fennel and gruyere definite stand outs. I parboiled the potatoes and than sliced them into the casserole. I also layered the ingredients using the cheeses that I had in the frig. Gruyere, swiss and fontina were a great combination. Before long the top was golden brown and everything was cooked through. I let everything rest for about 30 minutes, which was perfect. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best potato bake I have ever had! The fennel is not overwhelming, it is just so tasty and creamy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yet another winner! This is the first time I've had fennel and the flavor of it with the gruyere is amazing. A new favorite in out house! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was one of the best gratin dishes I have ever made. Made it for a dinner party and will be going to make it again for another dinner party this weekend. Wonderful, warm flavors. Followed the recipe exactly! Thank you Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used 1 cup half and half and one cup skim milk, thickened with a bit of flour to substitute the HEAVY CREAM. Also used a reduced fat blend of mozzarella/provolone instead of gruyere, and olive oil instead of butter for the topping. Believe me, this was just as good as the original but cut hundreds of calories out of the dish! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderful!!!! The best potato casserole I have ever had...and my husband thought so too!!!! I personally dont like black licorice flavor at all,but when I saw this on Barefoot Contessa I had to try it. The fennell was such a wonderful earthy flavor with the potatos!I followed the recipe exactly, except I used Extra Sharp Cheddar instead of Guryere. The kids and the whole family loved it!!!! I will be adding it to my Christmas Eve brunch menu for next year!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Cheesy deliciousness!! I made this for Christmas dinner and everyone raved about how good it was. This is definitely a "special occasion dish" since it is loaded with heavy cream, butter and cheese. The only thing I changed was that I used Yukon Gold potatoes. I did burn the bottom of the dish, so check cooking time carefully, as I overcooked them a touch (but still wonderful!!). item not reviewed by moderator and published
Terrible. I mean terrible! This dish was so heavy and almost sour with all the excesive cream and cheese. It boiled over in my oven and made the worst smokey stink you can imagine, filling the kitchen and dining with a horrid lingering smell. I threw it out and made mashed potatoes to serve with my ham dinner for Christmas. Plus the ingredients are expensive, cheese was $15 a lb. fennel was $7 and then the cream $3, all tossed out. Ugh! No thanks, Ina. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This will be on my menu for every dinner party I host and every pot luck I must take a dish to. I have never had fennel before but it was delicious and added really good flavor to the potatoes. The only thing I was unsure of was the use of heavy whipping cream, the recipe calls for heavy cream, I used the heavy whipping cream and it tasted delicious! My dinner date loved this so much he wanted me to bring the leftovers to him and to make for our next date. Thanks Barefoot Contessa, I have always been a fan of your show and your dishes always looked yummy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina Ina Ina - perfection. I have never cooked with fennel and the silky soft flavour with the gruyer, cream and potatoes - HEAVEN. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not terribly flavorful - even when using quality gruyere, but the texture was interesting and people still raved over the dish. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it. We subsituted,1 cup of sharp american cheese for the gruyere because we don't like swiss cheese and it was wonderful. Our search for a great gratin recipe is finally over. Thanks Ina. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was amazingly good! We made this for our family Christmas dinner last night, and everybody loved it. Instead of using Gruyere we used French 12 month Comte. It has a milder taste. It was wonderful. Next time I will try the Gruyere. item not reviewed by moderator and published
FABULOUS!!! I use more fennel to equal four cups and also use more Gruyere. Adding garlic and fresh thyme really add a wonderful touch, as another reviewer wrote. I make this every year for my neighborhood Christmas dinner and everyone always raves about it! Goes great with our elegant grilled beef tenderloin!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious, simple, surprised how mellow the fennel flavor was. Great accompaniment to rack of lamb and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This made for a great Thanksgiving side dish. I used Ina's recipe with a touch of Tyler's potatoes gratin. The night before, I cut all of my ingredients and added thyme and garlic to the cream. The day of, I put everything together, nearly doubled the amount of gruyere, and added a healthy sprinkle of parmesan to the top. The sauce was amazing. So smooth, almost like potatoes dipped in cheese fondue. The touch of thyme and garlic put it over the top for me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is wonderful. I served this to mother in law for mothers day and she LOVED it! I hear about it every time she comes to visit, so I'm making this for her as a side dish for Thanksgiving tomorrow. As far as the fennel, it's a very subtle taste in this dish...that thing that makes you go hmmm... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved the fennel! Substituted Yukon Gold potatoes and Swiss cheese. Excellent dish with Glazed honey ham. I made in the crockpot on high for 2.5 hrs while the ham baked in the oven. Truly simple and delicious, Thank you Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Question - has anyone made this using pre-sliced refrigerated or frozen potatoes? I don't have a mandoline, and my knife skills leave much to be desired, so in the interest of saving myself time and a trip to the ER I would like to cheat and use those Simply Potatoes Homestyle Slices instead of raw russet potatoes. However, the Slices are pre-cooked to about 70% level of "done-ness", so I'm not sure if that will negatively impact the gratin? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a go to side dish for me. I love it. It is wonderful with a nice prime rib. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love this recipe - make it a couple times a year as a decadent dish! I like to serve it with baked ham or beef wellington item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for a fall dinner menu with pork tenderloin and loved the combination of ingredients. The sauteed fennel and onions are an interesting addition to the typical potato gratin and even after cooking, the fennel retained some "crunch" which gave some texture to the creamy potatoes. My guests were Italian so they loved the taste of the fennel. I followed the recipe exactly except for adding about 1/2 lb more potato and because my baking dish was slightly smaller (9x13) it took closer to 2 hours to bake. The addition of the gruyere to the top made a beautifully browned top to the potatoes. This is a keeper as far as gratins go and it does indeed serve 10. As far as do ahead, I cut up the fennel and onions the day before (stored in zip loc bags in frig), grated the cheese, then sliced the potatoes in the a.m. and put in a bowl of cold water so they wouldn't discolor and then drained, cooked onions and fennel and assembled just prior to my 2-hour baking time. When tender, covered with foil (which helped to absorb the cream while the potatoes rested). My dinner guests didn't leave a morsel of this on their plates. Perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this recipe many times and it is always a hit. I love the idea of "pre baking" the night before. I would love to make this for a crowd of 30. Would double the recipe be enough? Also I must be missing something because 2 fennel bulbs have never come close to 4 cups. Help... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Don't cut corners on the fat... it's totally worth it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Since I've seen Ina use fennel so often on her show, I wanted to try it. Needed a good side dish for my cookout last night, so tried this one. It was great, cheesy and creamy, but I have to say that I didn't really taste the fennel. Maybe it's just that when it's cooked that fennel doesn't have much of a taste, or just blends in with the onion. I would more than likely make this again, but don't know if I would go out of my way to use fennel. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was good but I couldn't taste the fennel and onions. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have just served this for my family for the 1st time, I had worried how it would turn out, however i can now say that i thought it was lovely. i did use a low fat cream instead of the heavy cream that Ina used but the result was a creamy cheesy delight. Thanx Ina xxx item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an excellent recipe and the fennel makes it special. The downfall is this wonderful recipe cannot be prepared the day before and to be cooked the next day. The potatoes will turn color and the cream becomes absorbed into the potatoes causing the gratin to become a little dry. On the second try, we prepared it the same day we served it and it was deliouis & moist. This will definitely be a favorite for family get togethers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for Thanksgiving for the first time and loved it so much I made it for Christmas too! Thank you, Ina, for another fabulous recipe! If it weren't so heavy on the cream and cheese I'd make it more, but that's what makes it so good so I'll just save this one for special occasions. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish quickly became a holiday favorite for our family! It is savory, full of quality cheese and delicious- the fennel adds a nice, sweet aroma. Not for the "dieting" type. We only make this about twice a year and indulge with every bite! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We have this about once or twice per year due to the high fat content. As with many dishes you can modify it down to a low fat level by using fat free products and low fat products. The tablespoon of butter isn't that bad in the scheme of things, it is the cheese and heavy cream that push it over the edge. They make many non-fat type items but you will lose the ultimate flavor. For now, we just don't eat it very often. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Dawn, I've made this recipe for the past several years. It's a tradition on Christmas for my family. I've made it both ways, where I baked it that day to serve and the day before. I find it's actually better when you bake it the day before. I don't bake it for the entire time, and then the following day I bake it for the remaining time. It's seems to be more solid when I do it this way. item not reviewed by moderator and published
After following the directions meticulously and using the exact measurement of ingredients, I shouldn't have been surprised at the disgusting amount of oil runoff that resulted. Granted, the flavor was quite good, but if I decide to make this again, I will consult some of the other reviews that recommend cutting down some of the cholesterol and fat content, such as using half & half, cooking spray, and less butter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe- always on our thansgiving table! Has anyone ever made it the day before serving? Wondering if I should bake it first? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I went to my herb garden to harvest my fennel bulbs and lo and behold I grew the wrong type of fennel. I saw that other reviewers had just used taters, so I had to go that route too. I used 1.5 onions and added a T of fennel seeds that I ground in the spice mill (keep the kids happier) and about a 1/8-1/4 t of nutmeg. I used just a bit over 3# of a gold potato, unpeeled, and 2.5 cups Swiss cheese in the mix and 1/2 cup on top. Otherwise the recipe was the same (sic). Everyone loved it and said they want the recipe, so that just goes to show you that you can use what you got if you have a great recipe to begin with, just need to adapt a little. I can't wait to try it again with the fennel, I imagine it will be even better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't know what to make for dinner tonight so my husband requested potato gratin so I went online then I found this receipe looked amazing so I tried, it was so yammie remake again it's a keeper the taste is out of this world try it's worth it. I can't wait to make it again for family you win again Ina thank you for your tasty dishes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this...with AND without the fennel. It's and easy go-to side that can be elegant or casual. I'm making it again for dinner tomorrow with our friends. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these without the fennel as I don't like fennel. They were the best au gratin potatoes I have had and have made them several times since. I highly recommend. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is quite yummy. I agree with the other reviewer who said 2 1/2 cups of cheese isn't enough. 3 is probably more accurate. I used gruyere and had to substitute a little bit of shredded swiss because I ran short. It worked out fine. I do like the gruyere. Make sure you have a large pan to saute the fennel and onion as well as a large mixing bowl to stir it all. I am curious if anyone has tried to just layer it without mixing, as one reviewer suggested. item not reviewed by moderator and published
When I saw this recipe on Ina's show 3 years ago......I was ready to devour my television. I had to try it. My hubby is definately a meat and potato guy so I was looking for something other than the traditional roasted, baked, or mashed. This is DEVINE. I have made this over and over It is perfection at its best. The marrying of all these beautiful flavors and creamy texture is so comforting. It's the cheesy creamy nutty buttery...yuuummmmy.Absolute favorite in my house. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this at least a dozen times, and have recommended this to many pals (one friend now has this in her Thanksgiving menu every year.) I like the idea of using half-n-half to keep the fat content down as it can be a bit "greasy," but the flavors are incomparable. Instead of all onion, I use 1/2 leek and 1/2 onion and I think it makes a difference (I've done it both ways, and prefer the "with leek" version.) It is my husband favorite comfort food dish, so if he's having a rough time or down in the dumps, I make this for him (us...) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw this on Ina's show the other day and just had to try it. It was simply lovely in every way. Yes, I did use my stainless mandoline and had truly thin slices of potato, I did substitute half and half for the heavy cream and used half Swiss and half Fontina cheese (melts so beautifully) as the Gruyere is so expensive. I also added a nice grate of fresh nutmeg to the mixture before baking and some lightly buttered bread crumbs on the top the last ten minutes of baking for a nice crunch. I made half of the recipe and cooked it my French oval stainless-lined copper gratin pan. The crispy, creamy quality in that type of pan was just right (although I am sure one could get similar results in a casserole dish). I will definitely keep this wonderful recipe in my repetoire. My husband raved about it too, but then he loves everything I cook! I have NEVER cooked an Ina recipe that did not come out just beautifully and the simplicity of her recipes are what really appeals to us...a couple of die-hard foodies!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My out-of-town guest wanted to contribute to our dinner party, so I got to help her make this dish. My 4-stars and general comments are about the RECIPE not the taste of the end product - it was phenomenal! For the amount of potatoes required, you need at least 3 cups of cheese, more if you really like to get that yummy, gooey browning on top. Speaking of ovens; my Gaggenau browned this in less than 30-minutes, so anyone out there with an oven that offers an upper and lower heating element, you can cut the cooking time in half if you employ your oven's full heating capacity. My other observation about the recipe was the building process ... IMHO, it is not necessary to mix ALL of the ingredients before putting the gratin together in the pan. We had to use a 15-qrt stock pot to fit everything together. Personally, I would layer the ingredients so they can come together individually; potato, fennel/onion, dairy/cheese. This is how most gratins are built and I can't fathom a reason why this could be an exception, and it sure would be easier if you don't own a 30-qrt bowl. I concur with the other raters about the mixing of cream and half-and-half. We used all cream, except for the 2T, where we used 1/2-n-1/2 -- for no reason other than the balance of our heavy cream was spoken for in the dessert! But I'm certain a lighter variety of dairy would work just fine. I disagree with the reviewer who suggested more fennel ... it's not just about the flavor, it's about the texture, and between the onions and fennel, I had enough between me and my potatoes! More would have been overwhelming on the tongue. If you really want to enhance the 'fennel' flavor, perhaps some anise would do the trick. Finally, and contrary to some of my knife-wielding friends, a mandoline is a MUST! It cuts the prep time by 30-minutes. Enjoy this gem ... it's a classic!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this abt. 3 times and each time it's even better...I usually like to try different recipes for a dish, always looking for the perfect one...not for au gratin potatoes...the search stops here!! Shopping for ingredients for Easter Dinner, I noticed gruyere cheese was up to almost $20/lb...well, not for us in these times, so I reluctantly got a pre-shredded swiss/gruyere mixture and, actually, it worked pretty well. I also use the smallest amt. of oil I can in sauteeing the onion & fennel (usually use 2 bulbs fennel & extra onion too), so the end product doesn't look like it's swimming in oil. Also, I use 1C cream and 1/2C milk + 1/2C fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 to save a bit on the fat intake. A bite of this with a bite of ham is pure heaven! AND, you can make it in advance...I bake in for 1 hr., cool, refrigerate and then bake it off the next day! Thanks again, Ina...and, Happy Spring!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made several different recipes for potato gratin, and this one is the best so far. Very delicious, creamy, just wonderful. The fennel and onion add a nice flavor and texture to the dish. I made it for a group and they couldn"t stop raving about how good it was! Definitely recommend this recipe to all the cheesy potato lovers out there! 99% Ina's recipes have been superb. Thank you Ina item not reviewed by moderator and published
Golden bubbly gruyere over layers of tender potatoes oh-so-delicately sliced and punctuated with fresh and juicy, subtly flavored fennel?what isn?t comforting about that? Comforting, yes-- and at the same time, these are the qualities that would cause me not to think twice before serving this to some of my most refined dinner guests. This recipe is definitely a keeper; the first I tried on my new mandoline. I used half-and-half to cut the fat down (a little) from the full fat of heavy cream. Next time, I?d probably even prepare the pan with cooking spray instead of the butter. Also, I added a generous pinch of each salt and pepper to the sauteing onions and fennel (because my husband and I enjoy especially robust flavors). Speaking of my husband, he?s big on asking people what, if on death row, they?d pick for their last meal. I do believe this dish would be on my list! (His too.) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is one of my new favorites. What's better is using it as leftovers. I even made an omelet the next day and used the potatoes as the filling... sounds different but it was fantastic. I did not alter the recipe at all and the flavors were spot on. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy, versatile and delicious. The fennel really adds something special. On occassion, I'll add a splash of Pernod to the fennel and onions as they are sauteeing. When I have served this dish to guests, I've noticed that they tend to eat all of their potatoes first and take seconds (and sometimes thirds). Great recipe Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Had a dinner guest who is a bit sensitive to dairy and he ate this dish like it was his last meal, actually we all did. BUT, he really felt the negative effects from all the cheese, cream, butter, etc. All 5 stars deserved here, it was the hit of the dinner for all but one. Of course it may not have mixed well with the Triple Chocolate gelato we had for dessert. Another Ina winning recipe! Glenda item not reviewed by moderator and published
Served this as a main dish. Never cooked with fennel before. Has a nice fresh taste. Next time will use 3 fennel bulbs as the taste is so nice. Used swiss cheese because it's cheaper and has a similar taste. Will definately make again and again. Highly doubt anyone would know there is fennel unless they were told. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe! If you want something slightly different than scalloped potatoes -- something with a unique (and delicious!) taste, this is the recipe! I've made this numerous times and everyone (EVERYONE!) comments on how tasty it is. How can you go wrong with anything Ina Garten makes? She's simply the best! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Simple, delicious, and full of rich flavor. Super easy to make. A+ WE LOVE INA! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my favorite potato gratin. The fennel adds delicious flavor & the dish is so beautiful when it comes out of the oven - all golden & bubbling. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this recipe a million times and it always come out great. I have served it with beef tenderlion and lamb and it compliments both really well. I highly recommend it! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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