Sponsored: Fennel Gruyere Gratin + Anolon Vesta Baker Giveaway

The last couple of months have all been leading up to this week. The first draft of my next cookbook is due to my editor on Friday, just as the yearly conference for the International Association for Culinary Professionals begins. This is typically the only conference I attend each year, and it’s a chance to see friends and colleagues, as well as make new connections that will hopefully lead to more work and opportunities.

Originally founded in 1978 by a group of cooking school owners and instructors (including Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, and Anne Willan), over the last 40 years IACP has become a robust professional organization for food writers, cookbook authors, bloggers, editors, food tour guides, and others.

As part of the lead-up to the conference, I was asked by the folks at Anolon (they’re a dedicated IACP sponsor) to dream up a recipe inspired by one of the organization’s founders. I chose to look at Anne Willan’s life and work as a starting place for my dish.

I met Anne briefly at my very first IACP conference in 2012 (just before Food in Jars came out!), when she was promoting her amazing book The Cookbook Library (if you love cookbooks, you must check out this book. It covers the four centuries of cooking and recipe writing that led us to the point of culinary literacy where we are today). I remember thinking that I would be incredibly fortunate to have even half the career that she has had.

Starting with the knowledge that Anne was the founder of the La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, I knew my dish would need to be grounded in French cooking. I took a wander through her website and paged through the copy of La Varenne Pratique that I inherited from my Aunt Flora, and decided I’d make a Fennel Gruyere Gratin.

The thing I love about a gratin is that it is versatile and relatively easy (a necessity as I approach my deadline!). We think of gratins as being heavy dishes that are full of cheese, but they can actually be relatively light. I only use three ounces of cheese in this particular version. For a side that produces between six and eight servings, that’s not overly cheesy at all!

I used fennel as the primary ingredient because it brings a lot of flavor to the dish and I can almost always get really fresh, beautiful fennel at my local produce shop. However, you could apply this same technique to zucchini, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, winter squash, or various root vegetables.

I used an assortment of Anolon tools while creating this dish that you’ll see pictured throughout this post. They sent me a trio of blazingly sharp and easy-to-handle knives, a sturdy teak cutting board, and the Vesta Stoneware 9 x 13 Baker in Umber. I was particularly excited to use the Vesta baker because I’ve been on the lookout for a good, deep 9 x 13 pan. This one fits the bill perfectly.

Thanks to the folks at Anolon, I have one of these lovely Vesta Stoneware 9 x 13 Baking Pans in Umber to giveaway to one of you! Please use the widget below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Anolon paid me to write this post and develop the recipe you see below. They sent me the baker, knives, and cutting board to feature in this post. And, they are providing the stoneware baker for giveaway. However, as always, the words and thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.

Fennel Gruyere Gratin + Anolon Vesta Baker Giveaway


  • 2-3 fennel bulbs
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 ounces gruyere, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or grated on a microplane
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C. Trim away the stem ends of the fennel. Cut the bulb into wedges. Depending on how large the bulbs are, opt for quarters, sixths, or eighths. Arrange the fennel wedges in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Combine the chicken stock and 3 tablespoons of melted butter and pour it over the fennel. Season with salt and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  2. Bake the fennel wedges for 45 to 50 minutes, until they are super tender. You should be able to poke the bit of core in each wedge with a paring knife and have the knife slide in easily.
  3. While the fennel cooks, make the topping. Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and black pepper with the remaining melted butter and stir to combine. It should look like damp sand when you’re finished. If it seems too wet, add a pinch more breadcrumbs to even it out.
  4. Leaving the pan uncovered, return it to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the topping nicely browned and your kitchen smells delicious.
  5. Serve hot.

Related Posts:

, , , ,

141 Responses to Sponsored: Fennel Gruyere Gratin + Anolon Vesta Baker Giveaway

  1. 51
    Michele says:

    Wow, nice dish for all kinds of casseroles, gratins, roasting. Good luck at the conference.

  2. 52
    Kathleen says:

    A lovely fish tray recipie I made a few times
    The recipe is Jamie Oliver’s

  3. 53
    Brittany N Williamson says:


  4. 54
    Kat H. says:

    I’ve been wanting enchiladas lately. Might do that.
    Or eggplant lasagna.

  5. 55
    Sarah T. says:

    Yum! I’m thinking shepherd’s pie would look good in that pan 🙂

  6. 56
    Sandra says:

    I’d heard of Anolon, but don’t think I’ve seen any of their stuff. It looks good!

  7. 57
    Joanne Halter says:

    I have one Analon cookpot and i love it. Use it whenever I can.

  8. 58
    Robin Edmundson says:

    Fennel gratin is one of my favorite things! Must make one soon…

  9. 59
    Amy says:

    Simple and delicious. Can’t wait for your new cookbook!

  10. 60
    Andrea says:

    Never had an Anolon, would love to have one and try all the yummy recipes posted by food in jars.

  11. 61
    Terrie says:

    I’ve never tried fennel but it looks delicious. I wonder if my picky boys would like it. 🙂

  12. 62
    sillygirl says:

    I have multiple recipes for that pan – some old tried and true favorites plus a stack of new to try ones. Just think of how many wonderful recipes have come out of each pan you have!

  13. 63
    Savannagal says:

    I’d make corn casserole/corn pudding. I make it for every family gathering. As a matter of fact, I make two. One standard and one with lots of hot peppers. I’ve tried to make different dishes, but my family throws a fit if I don’t bring the corn casserole. I’m actually making it this weekend for a get-together. It would be great to have another 9 x 13 casserole dish. The ones I currently use are 2 different sizes. So one casserole ends up thicker than the other.

  14. 64
    Mel says:

    Looks good for lasagna.

  15. 65
    Edward Magel says:

    Peach Poor Mans Pie

  16. 66
    Anne Ritchings says:

    a cauliflower gratin

  17. 67
    Nell Owens says:

    Most likely it would be Apple Dumplings!

  18. 68
    Lisa Noble says:

    Yum…gratins, – Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnip, yum.

  19. 69
    Tonya says:

    I would make stuffed poblano peppers, yum.

  20. 70
    Melissa says:

    The first thing I would make in this baking dish would definitely be a gratin, starting with this one!

  21. 71
    Marjorie says:

    I think veggie enchiladas would be great!

  22. 72
    Esther DeWaters says:

    A deep 9×13 sounds lovely! I have some rhubarb frozen, begging to be made into a crisp, and I am always overfilling my standard sized casserole dishes when preparing crisps because I want more filling to serve each person.

  23. 73
    Sydney says:

    Yum! I love your suggestion of a Brussels sprouts gratin… I have been on an enchilada kick though… Maybe both! not at the same time though…

  24. 74
    Pete says:

    Can always use an extra 9×13 pan. Especially when we get hungry for stacked enchiladas. (And I am!) They also work so well as a roasting pan for a chicken.

    Congrats on making to the deadline!

  25. 75
    Bridgett Wilbur says:

    I would make party chicken.

  26. 76
    Ted S. says:

    Here is another vote for enchiladas! Thanks for the chance to win.

  27. 77
    lisa says:

    I have a sick friend – I make her a baked dish, give to her in the pan but then can’t make another until I get it back from her! This would help me create two dishes at once.

  28. 78
    nick martinelli says:

    My wife loves fennel so this would probably be the first thing i would cook in it. I’ve heard of Calphalon but never Anolon. but this pan looks like it would last for a long time.

  29. 79

    What a beautiful baker….nice and deep for lasagna but this gratin sounds yummy for a first try.

  30. 80
    Sue D says:

    I would make roasted brussel sprouts.

  31. 81
    pam says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  32. 82
    carleen case-bodary says:

    I’d make a nice big blueberry raspberry cobbler

  33. 83
    Stephanie says:

    Recipe looks great 😮

    I think if I got the stoneware baker the first thing I’d make would be some version of hot dish for my Minnesotan fiancé 🙂

  34. 84
    Sarah says:

    Eggplant lasagna!

  35. 85
    Britt says:

    The first thing I would cook would also be enchiladas–because several other posters mentioned it and now I’m jonesing!

  36. 86
    Megan P. says:

    Most likely, it would be a lasagna. Or some roasted potatoes.

  37. 87
    Kim Henrichs says:

    I would start with baked mac and cheese!

  38. 88
    Kim says:

    Veggie lasagna!

  39. 89
    Lynn says:

    Looks like a beautiful casserole! I’d love to try the fennel – it’s not in regular rotation here!

  40. 90
    Ruth says:

    Toss-up between Blueberry Crisp and Roasted Chicken with grapes, herbs, and garlic!

  41. 91
    Dandi D says:

    I would bake some chicken and veggies!

  42. 92
    Lola says:

    I have a wonderful recipe for Herb Dinner Rolls for that size dish that I would make.

  43. 93
    Jenny K. says:

    Perfect timing – I was just looking for new fennel recipes!
    The first thing to make in the baker would probably be some kind of roasted veg – maybe brussels sprouts?

  44. 94
    Emily says:

    I’d have to make eggplant collation!

  45. 95
    Sharon in Surrey says:

    You know, I have a whole patch of fennel growing against the fence & the only parts I’ve ever used are the early lacy growth in salads & the seeds for teas & spice. I’ve never thought about the bulb!!!
    I’ll have to try your fennel recipe – but I’ll need that lovely deep dish to make it in . . . .

  46. 96
    Harvitron says:

    Perfect size pan for enchiladas!

  47. 97
    Lydia Ruddy says:

    I’d christen the pan with a big buffalo chicken casserole. Its one of my favorites!

  48. 98
    Becky P says:

    Definitely lasagna first!

  49. 99
    Gerry says:

    I would make this, I am looking forward to your next book!

  50. 100
    Brighid says:

    My first thing I’d bake would be a hearty baked oatmeal. We have a lot of cold, gray mornings ahead of us still and something that satisfies both the eyes and our sense of taste sounds wonderful.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.