GRATIN DI FINOCCHI – Fennel Baked with Cheese

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The bulbous part of the base of the fennel stalk is one of the most popular vegetables in Italy and the most commonly prepared winter vegetable. This simple but decadent recipe prepares the fennel baked with Parmesan cheese.


  • 6 fennel bulbs, cleaned, trimmed, discard the fronds
  • 5 oz. Fontina cheese, sliced into strips
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Quarter the fennel bulbs and boil them in salted water for about 10 min. – until tender. Drain. Butter an ovenproof dish and arrange one layer of fennel across the bottom, season with salt and pepper. Scatter a layer of sliced Fontina over the fennel and sprinkle with nutmeg. Dot with half the remaining butter. Cover with a second layer of fennel, season with salt and pepper, and dot with the rest of the butter and the remaining cheese. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 min or until the top is browned and bubbling hot.