Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin

©MakeMineLemon - Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin

©MakeMineLemon – Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin

I made a fennel and pomegranate salad recipe with raw fennel.  I was so happy with it.  I think it is one of the best things I have made this year.  I know it was one of the easiest.  Now because I am a foodie and a blogger I wanted to give the roasted version a try.  I found this Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin, and at first bite I started to hear the Halleluiah chorus going off in my head.  This is just heavenly.

While it is fennel season, I know it is past tomato season, but you can usually count on cherry tomatoes to have some flavor at this time of year, especially if you roast them and I simply could not go a whole year without eating them.  When I saw these pictures I tossed the garlic and bought fresh.  Don’t use garlic that is past its prime.  I also remove the endosperm (the little green in the center of the clove).  I find it bitter.

©MakeMineLemon - Roasted Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin Mise en place

©MakeMineLemon – Roasted Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin Mise en place

I bought a live thyme plant to replace the one I had that croaked.  I want to transplant it into a larger pot and pray that it will winter well in my window.  I am so in love with fresh herbs.  (May I suggest a cup filled with herbs for a foodie gift or if you want to take something to your hostess.)  If you only have dry okay, but I highly recommend in the spring you plant some herbs even if you only have room for a few pots. It is just one small thing you can do to improve your skills.  I am planning an herb garden in my head now for next Spring.  I already have mint, oregano, and rosemary in a large pot.  It was a gift from my neighbor when he thinned his garden.  The thyme died off so I will be adding to it.  In the Spring I also buy a basil plant for $2.99 from Trader Joe’s.  I then propagate the plant – it usually takes 10 days in a jelly jar of water to sprout roots.  It last me all season.

I have started adapting to the metric measurement.  I weigh flour and sugar.  Also it has been a big help when a recipe calls for one or two medium vegetable.  What does that mean?  Is that pretty subjective?  If it says 1 kilo = 2.2 lbs., just weigh it.  I get teased and have had to offer many mea culpas since I resisted metric when I started scratch cooking, but I have had to concede it is so much easier now, and with better results.

©MakeMineLemon - Roasted Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin

©MakeMineLemon – Roasted Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin

This is a Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi recipe.  The recipe is for a full recipe, but I only made half.  I have wanted to make the recipe for a long time.  I have heard such good things about Mr. Ottolenghi and my new blog friend Barbara from Cuisine Provence made it.  I was so happy with her Clafoutis Provençal I had to try this.  I was very happy with my result.  It is recipes like this that make you think you can cook.

Thanks to Messrs. Ottolenghi and Tamimi.  Thank you Barbara and thanks to Ina Garten – she said learn to make a dish three different ways to expand your repertoire.  One more to go.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. fennel bulbs, sliced ⅔ “ thick
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 200ml cream – 1 cup
  • 100g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, on the vine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a lemon
  • parsley for garnish
  • ⅓ of this crumble – (300g plain flour, 100 g caster sugar, 200g cold salted butter cubed) Store the remainder in a baggie, then a Mason jar in the freezer - Label it.
Instructions
  1. Mise en place ~ Gather Ingredients
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  3. Foil to cover ovenproof gratin dish
  4. Make crumble - Combine flour, sugar, and butter – all cold; add parmesan; set aside.
  5. Mix fennel in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, thyme leaves, garlic, salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
  7. Pour the cream over the fennel.
  8. Sprinkle crumble on top of the fennel.
  9. Cover the dish with foil; bake for 45 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil; add the tomatoes on top, along with a few thyme sprigs.
  11. Return to the oven; bake for another 15 minutes or until the fennel is soft, the crumble is a golden brown and the tomatoes are cooked.
  12. Parsley to garnish.
  13. Give a squeeze of lemon – it will lift the flavor.

I am taking this to

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19 Responses to Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin

  1. What a lovely gratin and full of flavor and crunch from the fennel. I wish I had seen this earlier. I had left-over fennel from a seafood salad of Ina’s. I too put basil in water to propagate it and it’s amazing how well it works. You’re right that cherry tomatoes (and I think grape too) are good all year long and I depend on them in the winter.
    Sam

  2. This looks just so tempting – and we get real nice fennel here now so thanks for reminding me MS. Lemon! BTW – I love the thyme in the Christmas mug!

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Thank you for visiting. This is so good. You make me a better cook. If I could get to you I would bring you thyme in a huge mug.

  3. Hi, this looks so good. The cherry tomatoes and fennel…great combination. We purchase only cherry tomatoes from the grocer. We have a little luck with hometown tomatoes in the spring and summer.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. Pinning for future use.
    Merry Christmas, Ginger

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      I wish I had paid closer attention when my father-in-law tried to show me how to grow a tomato. He was a genius, but I was busy with children and did not pay attention. I bet he is laughing at me now.

  4. Fennel really has a nice flavor, and I love it in a gratin too. The cherry tomatoes are a wonderful idea – and you’re right that they usually have some flavor, even if it isn’t tomato season. Good stuff – thanks.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Thanks for visiting John. I hope you will try this and let me know your thoughts. I would hate to have to decide between raw and roasted.

  5. I recently got this cookbook but have yet to prepare anything from it yet. It looks so good as do all of their recipes. Thanks for sharing. Now I’ll have to pull it out and try that among others.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Vicki, Make this your first one. I am asking for their book(s) for Christmas. I love food that has minimal labor and a big payback.

  6. Miz Helen says:

    We grow our own Fennel, and I will be very excited to try this recipe, it looks awesome. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a very Merry Christmas!
    Miz Helen

  7. This looks sooo good!!! Wish I could come to your house for dinner!
    Merry Christmas,
    Mary Alice

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Mary Alice this is such a great find. I would encourage you to give it a try. Be very careful if you make this everyone will want to come to your house for dinner.:) Have a great holiday.

  8. That looks so beautiful. I never really thought of fennel as something to “au gratin!” I use it in salads and roasted all the time, but this looks like a real treat.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Wini, please try this. The photo does not do it justice. My 2014 goal is to learn to take better photos, but I promise you will love this dish.

  9. Ali says:

    Love the flavors in this :) Thank you so much for linking this recipe up at Recipe Sharing Monday! The new link party is up and I’d love to see you back. Have a great week. :)

  10. This looks divine! I’m checking out your fennel recipes!

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