As a side we did fennel gratin as recommended on the Lorraine morning TV show. I don't know about you but I have never cooked fennel before in my life and it is not something I would choose in a restaurant…but how the tables have turned….
Ingredients for 6 people:
10 fennel bulbs, trimmed
Salt and pepper, to season
300ml double cream
250g Parmesan, freshly grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Grated cheddar cheese, optional
About half an hour before the pork belly is ready, it is time to prepare the fennel gratin.
Chop the garlic and grate the Parmesan.
Chop each fennel bulb into six parts length ways so that the individual pieces are held together by the central core.
Blanch and then drain well.
Mix together, the fennel, cream, garlic and half the Parmesan and season well.
Transfer into a shallow baking dish.
Scatter the remaining Parmesan on top and if you are a cheese fanatic like myself, add some grated cheese (I think the more the merrier)!
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 190 C (along with the pork).
Finally remove the foil, and bake for a following 10 minutes.
I then grilled it for a further few minutes to crisp to up.
Unbelievable! Fennel gratin is my new favourite side - way better than potato gratin (and healthier) - fennel reminds me of leeks and I will definitely be cooking it more often and in different ways although I am not sure you could beat this!