Gratin with fennel and black olives

This deliciously creamy Italian gratin dish is quick to prepare and only requires 5 ingredients. The combination of fennel and black olives creates a unique and spicy taste that will tantalize your taste buds. The fennel gives the dish a mild, slightly sweet taste, while the black olives give the dish a savory and salty note.

With its creamy texture and rich flavor, this gratin is a perfect side dish or even a main dish. The simplicity of the recipe makes it a great option for a busy weeknight meal and it can be easily customized to your preferences by adding other ingredients or seasonings. Try this irresistible fennel and black olive gratin and enjoy authentic Italian flavors with minimal effort!


  • 3 thick fennel bulbs
  • a piece of butter
  • 70g pitted dry black olives with herbs (try Crespo’s version from supermarkets), coarsely chopped
  • 284ml carton of double cream
  • 5 heaped tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano


Come forward
Blanch the fennel in boiling water up to 24 hours in advance. Wrap in cling film and keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature before baking.

Preparation steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7/fan 200°C.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the roots of each fennel bulb, remove the first leaf, then cut more roots and remove more leaves down to the core.
  4. Cut off and discard any green stem pieces and coarse outer leaves (or save for stock).
  5. Cut the leaves along the grain into tulip-sized pieces.
  6. Add the fennel to the boiling water, cover the pot and bring to the boil again.
  7. Remove the lid and cook for 5 minutes to blanch the fennel, then drain thoroughly.
  8. Lightly butter a large baking dish (approx. 25 cm in diameter) or another ovenproof dish.
  9. Spread half of the fennel on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle evenly with half of the olives.
  10. Cover with the remaining fennel and olives and season well.
  11. Pour the cream over it and sprinkle a thick layer of cheese on top.
  12. Bake the gratin on the middle rack of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cream is bubbling, the top is lightly golden brown, and the fennel is tender.
  13. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

131 30g 18g 3g 0g 2g 8g 1.2g

Equipment and tools

  • gratin dish
  • Pot
  • wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • cutting board

Allergen information

This fennel and black olive gratin recipe may contain allergens. For possible allergens, please see the list of ingredients below:

  • fennel
  • butter
  • Pitted dry black olives with herbs
  • Double cream
  • Finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Storage and leftovers

If you have any leftover fennel black olive gratin, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place in the preheated oven at 180°C for about 15 minutes or until heated through.

Health Benefits of Fennel and Black Olive Gratin

Fennel and black olive gratin is not only a delicious and filling dish, but also offers several health benefits. This combination of fennel and black olives provides a unique blend of flavors that contribute to both the flavor and nutritional value of the recipe.

1. Excellent source of fiber

Fennel is a fiber-rich vegetable that can aid digestion and promote overall gut health. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements, prevent constipation, and improve digestive health.

2. Rich in antioxidants

Black olives are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E and polyphenols, which protect the body from free radical damage. These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, lower the risk of chronic disease, and support a healthy immune system.

3. Nutrient rich

Both fennel and black olives are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Fennel is a great source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese, while black olives provide vitamin A, iron and calcium. Incorporating these ingredients into your diet will help you meet your daily nutritional needs.

4. Good for heart health

Fennel contains compounds such as potassium and fiber, which are beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart. These nutrients may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall cardiovascular function. Black olives also contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which may help lower bad cholesterol levels.

5. Supports weight management

Both fennel and black olives are low in calories and high in fiber, which can be helpful in weight control. Foods rich in fiber help you feel full longer, prevent overeating, and promote weight loss or maintenance.

So next time you’re in the mood for a tasty and nutritious dish, consider making a gratin with fennel and black olives. Not only will it delight your taste buds, but it will also provide numerous health benefits.

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