This is a very light and healthy way to cook potatoes and they are surprisingly flavorful. I have made them three times now in the last couple of weeks and find that it is a foolproof recipe. Fennel is in season right now in California, a little earlier than normal. If you drive to Stinson Beach, you will find it growing wild on Highway One. The last time I made it, we pulled over and harvested some fennel right outside the Stinson Beach Fire Station.
Fennel & Potato Gratin
5 garlic cloves
1.5 lbs of fennel stocks and base - sliced thinly, some leafage is okay to use as well for texture, but don't use too much of it because it tends to wilt
4 tablespoons of olive oil (add more if you'd like, but this seemed to be enough for me)
1.5 lbs or so bag of red potatoes or fingerling potatoes, sliced thinly
Salt & Pepper
Sautee the garlic and fennel in the olive oil, salt and pepper until softened, about 4-5 minutes on medium/low heat. Add the thinly sliced potatoes and increase the heat to brown the potatoes a little bit. Put all of this into a glass pan and bake at 400 degree for 20 minutes covered in tin foil. If you want it crispier, take off the tin foil and bake it for 3-4 minutes longer, but you don't want it to dry out too much. I've been making this with roasted chicken and they really compliment each other. Roasted chicken with a little bit of these potatoes makes the perfect bite! Light, fresh and delicious!