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Image for Recipe - Fennel & Swiss Chard Gratin

Fennel & Swiss Chard Gratin

Image for Recipe - Fennel & Swiss Chard Gratin
  • Time preparation 40 minutes
  • cook time 40 minutes
  • Serve Serves 6 as a side dish

A cheesy, creamy, bubbling gratin is perfect comfort food for this time of year. This veg-packed bake makes a perfect side dish for game, meaty fish or even your Sunday roast

Recipe taken from Eat More Veg by Annie Rigg (£14.99,National Trust Books). Also available directly from National Trust at shop.nationaltrust.org.uk. Images: Nassima Rothacker.
  • 500ml double cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large or 3 small bulbs fennel
  • 10g butter, for greasing
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 100g taleggio or vegetarian soft-rinded cheese, such as Cornish brie
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour the cream into a small saucepan, add the garlic and bay leaf, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C/Gas 4.

Trim the fennel and cut into wedges – either 6 or 8 per fennel depending on size. Steam over boiling water for 4–5 minutes or until tender. Use the butter to grease a gratin dish, then remove the fennel from the pan and tip into the buttered dish.

Separate the leaves and stalks from the Swiss chard. Slice the stalks into 3cm pieces, tip into the steamer and cook for 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile slice the leaves and add these to the pan, and cook for a further minute or so until wilted.

Remove from the pan and arrange around the fennel wedges. Season well and strain the infused cream over the veggies. Cut the taleggio into nuggets and tuck amongst the vegetables.

Scatter with breadcrumbs and the grated Italian-style hard cheese and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Ingredients

  • 500ml double cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large or 3 small bulbs fennel
  • 10g butter, for greasing
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 100g taleggio or vegetarian soft-rinded cheese, such as Cornish brie
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Pour the cream into a small saucepan, add the garlic and bay leaf, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C/Gas 4.

Trim the fennel and cut into wedges – either 6 or 8 per fennel depending on size. Steam over boiling water for 4–5 minutes or until tender. Use the butter to grease a gratin dish, then remove the fennel from the pan and tip into the buttered dish.

Separate the leaves and stalks from the Swiss chard. Slice the stalks into 3cm pieces, tip into the steamer and cook for 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile slice the leaves and add these to the pan, and cook for a further minute or so until wilted.

Remove from the pan and arrange around the fennel wedges. Season well and strain the infused cream over the veggies. Cut the taleggio into nuggets and tuck amongst the vegetables.

Scatter with breadcrumbs and the grated Italian-style hard cheese and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

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