Dinner/ Lunch/ Oven dishes/ Side Dishes/ Vegetarian

Roasted Fennel & Sourdough Gratin

10 February 2021

Do you have leftover sourdough bread which has gone a bit crusty and hard? Don’t throw it out! Save it in the freezer to make croutons with when you’re making soup or a salad. Or even better, use it in a gratin like this dish! The bread is first soaked in milk and white wine to soften, but it crisps up beautifully in the oven. 

The gratin mix is made with crème fraîche, loads of parmesan cheese, thyme, nutmeg and a good handful of fresh parsley. Such a great combination with the grilled fennel.

I served it with a quick cucumber pickled salad (2 minutes work) and a pan seared crispy skin salmon. Salmon is one of my favourite fish, we eat it pretty much every 2 weeks. This might be a bit too often, because now Rob is saying he doesn’t think salmon is ’as special’ as it used to be. Whatever, I’m going to keep making it 😉

Recipe from BBC Good Food.

Roasted Fennel & Sourdough Gratin

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Dinner, side
By Saffron & BBC Cood Food Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 50 minutes Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 fennel bulbs, bases trimmed, sliced in 1 cm strips. Keep fennel fronds aside for garnish.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 2 thick slices sourdough bread
  • 100 ml milk
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 20 g parmesan, grated (+ extra to serve)
  • 150 g crème fraîche
  • ± 1 tsp grating of nutmeg (to taste)
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (tarragon works well too)



Heat the oven to 200°C.


Toss the fennel with the olive oil, thyme, pepper and salt to coat. Lay it on a baking tray or an oven dish.


Roast for ± 20 - 25 mins, tossing halfway through, until softened and caramelized.


Tear the sourdough into chunks, mix it with the wine and milk in a bowl, set aside.


Combine the parmesan with the crème fraîche and season with salt, pepper and the grated nutmeg.


Once the fennel is roasted, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.


Add the soaked bread to the fennel, and mix together.


Spread out the crème fraîche mixture and half the parsley, and stir to coat the bread and fennel.


Grate over a little extra cheese, then bake for another 25-30 mins until golden, bubbling and crisp at the edges.


Top with the remaining parsley and the set aside fennel fronds.

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