Fennel Au Gratin
1 large head of fennel, or 3 small
5 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup soft fresh bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Wash fennel, trim it and cut it into 1-inch lengths. Steam fennel over boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until barely tender.
Melt 3 tbsp of butter, blend in flour, and gradually stir in milk. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring. Add cheese and stir to melt.
Spread half of crumbs over bottom of a greased shallow 1-quart casserole. Place steamed fennel pieces over top and pour sauce over all. Top with remaining crumbs and dot with remaining butter.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly hot.
Endive Au Gratin
Pour boiling water over 8 heads of endive, add salt to taste, cover and cook until almost tender, about 20 minutes. Proceed with step 3 as for fennel above.