Fennel, Potato and Onion Gratin with Anchovy Cream
This is perfect cold-weather comfort food – rich and creamy with nutmeg and anise seeds adding a warm toasty note to the dish, underneath a golden parmesan crust. Pinot Gris is the perfect partner.
- 850 grams agria potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 large fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed, cut into thick slices
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup milk
- 4 good anchovies, finely chopped (I used Ortiz)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon whole anise seeds
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- sea salt and ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
- Arrange the potatoes in a large oven-proof baking dish in overlapping circles and season with salt and pepper. Scatter over the onions then the fennel.
- Combine the cream, milk, anchovies, garlic, nutmeg and the anise seeds in a jug then pour over the top. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with a piece of baking paper then foil and seal tightly.
- Bake the gratin for 1½ hours or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a skewer.
- Uncover and sprinkle over the parmesan. Place back in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the top is golden.
Pantry note: Anise is not the same ingredient as star anise. It is native to the Middle East and Mediterranean regions and has a distinctive, aromatic liquorice flavour and is a tiny, light brown coloured seed.
Leave out the anchovies for vegetarian option.