Cauliflower and Fennel Gratin with Pancetta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegetable, Side Dish
Serves: 6
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 large fennel, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced (or thick sliced bacon)
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk (any variety)
  • 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Blanch cauliflower in boiling water until very al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, combine with fennel in a large bowl, and set aside. Cook panetta until very crispy; remove with a slotted spoon and add to the vegetables. Add breadcrumbs to the rendered pancetta fat and toast for a few minutes; set aside. Combine butter and flour in a saucepan, melt, and cook for a few minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese just until melted, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Pour sauce over the vegetables and pancetta and stir to combine. Pour into a greased 8x8 inch oven safe baking pan. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and bake at 375 degrees until bubbly and brown on the top, about 40 minutes.
Wanting a vegetarian dish instead? Simply leave out the pancetta and toast the breadcrumbs in olive oil instead.
Recipe by Cooking With MicheleĀ® at