This gratin was pretty easy to put together, but certainly not very quick. Regular russet potatoes can be substituted in for the purple potatoes with no issues. I was sad that the purple potatoes lost their bright color in the baking. I was looking forward to plunking down a scoop of K-State purple potatoes and cheese in front of her and seeing her reaction. No worries, though, she ate two servings anyway!
1 bulb fennel, fronds and core removed, sliced very thin
1 onion, halved and sliced very thin
drizzle of olive oil
2 lb purple potatoes (or other potatoes of your choosing)
2 c heavy cream
2 c grated cheese – I used half smoked gouda and half…errr…ummm….*cough* Velveeta
salt and pepper
In a large enamel skillet, cook the fennel and onion in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions and fennel begin to caramelize, 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the potatoes very thin. A mandolin would work well for this task, but if you don’t have one (I don’t) slice them as thin as you can with a knife. Put the potatoes in a bowl and add the cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked onions and fennel. Stir to combine and transfer to a 1 qt casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and a fork can be inserted into the center of the dish without resistance. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.