Looking for a hearty side dish? One that goes well with roast chicken or maybe with grilled steaks? I’ve got a good one for you. This one will even shine on your brunch buffet table. It’s that versatile. And very delicious.
It’s loaded with flavor and texture with the fennel and spinach. And that creamy cheesy gruyere base. Total yum.
But first, let’s talk about the potatoes. They are tossed with olive oil, then seasoned with salt & pepper before roasting them to a golden crispiness and perfection.
While the potatoes are roasting, let’s work on the rest. Like slicing the fennel and spinach. And chopping the garlic, basil, and parsley. Set all that aside and shred your cheese.
Once all of that prepping is out of the way, get started on building that cheesy sauce.
At this point, those potato chunks should be perfectly roasted.
Add them to the bowl for the final mix. Once all of the ingredients are well incorporated, transfer the mixture to a baking dish that holds anywhere from 1 1/2 quarts to 2 quarts. Choose a baking dish that is on the shallow side. You don’t want the mixture to be piled too high. The more shallow the dish, the more evenly the whole thing will bake.
I absolutely love my Le Creuset 24-Ounce Au Gratin Dish for this recipe. It transfers from the oven to the table beautifully.
This dish can be prepared early in the day up to this point. Then just pop it in the oven at just the right time so that it is ready when the rest of your meal is served.
As mentioned before, this dish is the perfect side for meat, fish or chicken. It’s also pretty tasty with an egg or two. Or just by itself.
fennel, spinach & gruyère potato bake
Adapted from The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen
- 1 1/4 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup half & half
- 2 cups shredded gruyère cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (plus more for garnish)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
- 3 cups packed fresh spinach, sliced (about 4 ounces)
- 2 medium or 1 large fennel bulb, cored & thinly sliced (about 8 ounces)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; arrange in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Rearrange potatoes halfway through to promote even browning.
When potatoes are done, reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and half & half along with 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir in the gruyère, basil, parsley, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the spinach and fennel to the egg mixture and mix well. When ready, add the roasted potato chunks and toss until well incorporated. Transfer to a 2-quart. baking dish; cover with foil.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the custard has set. Uncover; bake another 5 minutes. Garnish with additional basil and parsley, if desired.
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