Potato and fennel gratin

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Potato and fennel gratin

Wherever you live in the country you can find the ingredients for this homey dish. For those of you with winter time access to farmers’ markets, the potatoes and fennel are often close to each other on display. Topped with garlic, parsley, cheese, and whole-grain bread crumbs, this combination is great hot out of the oven or even if just warm. This dish is good as leftovers also.

Servings: 8


  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes such as Yukon Gold, peeled
  • 1 large fennel bulb or 2 to 3 smaller bulbs, about 3/4 pound
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup packed fresh whole-grain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a mandolin or a paring knife, very thinly slice the potatoes. Add the sliced potatoes to a large bowl of water to prevent them from turning brown.
  3. Slice the fennel bulb(s) in half lengthwise then slice them very thinly crosswise.
  4. Toss the bread crumbs (I used Vital Vittles 9 grain bread) with the parsley, cheese, and garlic.
  5. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 9” by 13” baking dish.
  6. Read the fractions below carefully. This can be confusing but it ultimately will make sense to you. Layer about 1/3 of the potatoes dripping with water on the bottom of the dish. The water clinging to the potatoes is the source of steam to help them cook. Sprinkle this layer with about 1/4 cup of the bread crumb mixture, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil.
  7. Add a layer of 1/2 of the fennel followed by another 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, oil, and seasoning. Continue this layering process finishing with the last 1/3 of the potatoes on top.
  8. Top with the remaining bread crumbs.
  9. Cover tightly with aluminum foil to keep in the steam. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the top is browned. Let the dish rest a few minutes and serve.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 241
  • Fat: 11 gm
  • Saturated Fat: 2 gm
  • Trans Fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 32 gm
  • Fiber: 4 gm
  • Protein: 4 gm
  • Sodium: 194 mg