Cook the Book: Lidia's Baked Fennel Gratin w/ Prosciutto
I made this for a recent holiday dinner party, served along side Lidia's Chicken Cacciatore, and it was the perfect winter dish (with polenta and broccoli rabe of course!).
I love dishes like this, you prepare it in the morning, and then pop it in the oven before serving.
Sorry I don't have much more to say about this dish, except make it, it was SO GOOD.
Lidia's Baked Fennel Gratin w/ Prosciutto: (adapted from Lidia's Italy)
2 1/2 pounds fennel, trimmed and cut in wedges (I used 4 small heads)
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 oz smoked prosciutto (also known as "speck"), thinly sliced
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
Bring about 4 quarts of water to the boil in a large pot. Drop in the fennel wedges and cook them at a gentle boil for about 8 minutes, just until you can pierce them easily with a sharp knife tip. Lift out the wedges and drain well.
Cut the prosciutto slices crosswise into strips, about 1/4-inch wide.
Set a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 375F degrees. Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with a spoon or 2 of the melted butter.
Lay the fennel wedges in one layer, filling the dish, and scatter the prosciutto strips over and in between the wedges. Drizzle the remaining butter all over. Sprinkle on a bit of salt & pepper.
Finally, sprinkle over the grated cheese, covering the whole dish evenly. Bake the dish for 35 minutes or until the top is crusty and golden and the edges of the prosciutto and fennel are also colored and crisp.
Great with a roast pork for a Sunday dinner. The perfect winter dinner party food.