Serious Eats: Recipes

Marc Vetri's Fennel Gratin

[Photograph: Kelly Campbell]

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Rustic Italian Food to give away this week.

There is a lovely simplicity about this Fennel Gratin from Marc Vetri's Rustic Italian Food. Just a few ingredients and no fancy technique, the caramelized slices of fennel cook down sweet and soft in olive oil with the finely grated Parmesan and pepper flakes crisping up on top.

Served alongside a roasted whole fish or lamb shoulder (recipe coming later this week) it's the kind of dish that shows the best kind of restraint, no need to overthink or overdo, just let a few ingredients really shine.

Why you should make this: So simple but so good, this fennel cooks down to sweet, spicy, salty goodness making for a side that is poised to take center stage.

Next time we might think about: If the red pepper flakes-olive oil-Parmesan combo works so well on fennel, we're wondering how it would fare on other sweet veggies like carrots or turnips.

Reprinted with permission from Rustic Italian Food by Marc Vetri, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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