A Classic Reimagined: Fennel au Gratin on a Seasoned Bechamel

The culinary world is a treasure trove of flavours, textures, and aromas waiting to be explored. Among the myriad of dishes that capture the essence of this gastronomic adventure, ‘Monkfish Medallions in Almonds and Pistachio Crust’ stands out as a testament to the art of fine dining. This dish, with its harmonious blend of delicate monkfish and rich, nutty crust, invites us on a journey of indulgence and elegance.

Fennel au Gratin on a Seasoned Bechamel Recipe

Fennel Gratin (Finocchi Gratinati): The Classic Recipe and its Variations -  La Cucina Italiana

Fennel au gratin on a seasoned bechamel

One of the combinations we love: fennels with bechamel. The crunchy part of the grated vegetables meet the softness of the salty cream which is a classic of the worldwide cuisine.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people
Calories 2154 kcal


  • 1 pot
  • 1 oven


For fennels

  • 4 medium fennels
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A spoon of butter
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Grated bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the besciamelle

  • 50 gr of butter
  • 35 gr of white flour
  • 1/2 lt of milk
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt


  • Wash the fennels carefully and divide them into 4 parts: put some water to boil and cook the fennels for about 20 minutes. Once they are ready take them out of the water and put them aside.
  • Take a baking pan, lay the fennels inside the pan, and add grated bread, grated parmesan, oil , salt and pepper. Add some little pieces of butter in the corners of the pan and one on each part of the cut fennel. Put the pan into the oven, 150°C ventilated oven, let them cook for about 25 - 30 minutes.
  • When they are brown and crusty, take them out of the oven.
  • While the fennels are cooking, start preparing the bechamel, which must be creamy but not too thick; this is why we use a little less flour than in the classic recipe.
  • Put the butter in a pot and when it has melted, add the flour, start stirring and add the milk, continuing to stir. Add the nutmeg and a little bit of salt.
  • Continue to stir. When the bechamel starts to boil, get it to the right consistency and turn the flame off. If there are some lumps, use the mixer to correct, at a minimum speed.
  • Serve it warm as a base for the fennels and lay them on it enriching the dish decoration with some pepper.



In this recipe we can say that you can substitute fennels with some other vegetables: leeks, zucchini, cardoons.
Keyword butter, fennels, parmesan cheese

About Fennel au Gratin on a Seasoned Bechamel

Creamy Fennel Gratin with Cheese Sauce - Cristina's Kitchen

This recipe features fennel, a vegetable known for its unique anise-like flavour and crisp texture. The fennel is baked au gratin, a French technique that involves topping the ingredient with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs and cheese. The seasoned bechamel, a creamy white sauce infused with herbs and spices, provides a rich, velvety base that complements the fennel’s natural sweetness. The result is a dish that is comforting yet sophisticated, perfect for a cozy dinner or a festive gathering.

Cooking Tips

  • Choose fresh fennel bulbs that are firm and free from blemishes.
  • When making your bechamel, stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Use a good quality cheese for the gratin for the best flavour and melt.
  • Bake until the top is golden brown and the fennel is tender.
  • Adjust seasoning as per taste. The bechamel should enhance, not overpower, the fennel.

Serving Suggestions

Fennel gratin | Jamie Oliver recipes

  • Serve the fennel au gratin hot, straight from the oven, to enjoy its full flavours.
  • Pair with a side of roasted chicken or grilled fish for a complete meal.
  • A glass of white wine, such as a Chardonnay, would complement the dish beautifully.
  • Consider serving with a crusty baguette to mop up the delicious bechamel.
  • For dessert, a light fruit salad or a lemon tart would provide a refreshing contrast.


  • Can I use another vegetable for this recipe? Yes, you can substitute fennel with other vegetables like cauliflower or zucchini.
  • Can I make the bechamel in advance? Yes, the bechamel can be made ahead of time and reheated before use.
  • What kind of cheese should I use for the gratin? A hard cheese like Gruyere or Parmesan is recommended for its excellent melting properties.
  • Can I make this dish vegan? Yes, you can use plant-based milk for the bechamel and a vegan cheese substitute for the gratin.
  • Is there a gluten-free option for this dish? You can use gluten-free flour for the bechamel and omit the breadcrumbs or use a gluten-free alternative.

‘Fennel au Gratin on a Seasoned Bechamel’ is a dish that celebrates the beauty of simple ingredients and classic cooking techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a culinary novice, this recipe offers an opportunity to create a gourmet dish that is sure to impress. So, roll up your sleeves, ignite your passion for cooking, and prepare to embark on a delicious culinary adventure.

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