Chef's Recipes

Fennel and thyme gratinée

Australian Gourmet Traveller French side dish recipe for fennel and thyme gratinée by Daniel Southern from Comme Kitchen in Melbourne.

By Daniel Southern
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 6
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Fennel and thyme gratinée
“I love the aniseed flavour of fennel. I grew up drinking Ricard Pastis on my summer holidays in the south of France from a very young (and legal) age. This is the ideal side dish to any rich, fatty meat.”


  • 200 gm coarse fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 50 gm clarified butter, melted (see note)
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (firmly packed)
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 3 fennel bulbs, cut into 6 wedges
  • 100 gm butter


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170C. Combine breadcrumbs and clarified butter in a bowl, season to taste, scatter mixture on an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted (5-10 minutes). Add parsley, thyme and lemon rind and set aside.
  • 2
    Place fennel in a saucepan large enough to fit fennel snugly in a single layer, dot with butter, add 1 litre water, cover closely with baking paper, cook over medium heat until tender (10-15 minutes). Remove fennel (reserve 150ml cooking liquid), transfer to a 1.5-litre baking dish. Pour reserved liquid over fennel, season to taste, scatter with breadcrumb mixture, bake until golden (20-30 minutes). Serve hot.


Note You'll need about 75gm butter to yield 50gm clarified butter. This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: Lightly floral and nutty chardonnay from southern Burgundy. Drink suggestion by Marty McCaig and Frederic Blevin

  • Author: Daniel Southern