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Sweet Potato Gratin with Fennel, Leek, and Garlic Breadcrumbs

Green City Market Cookbook

Seasonal
Soups & Sides
Winter

This is a savory way to serve sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. The sweetness of the potatoes along with the saltiness of the white Cheddar and feta make it a perfectly balanced side dish. - Dominic Benigno, Green City Market customer.

Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 50 min | Serves: 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients 
  • 4 large sweet potatoes 
  • 1 large fennel bulb and fronds 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 (3-inch-thick) slices of day old baguette, crusts included
  • 1 glove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  • 2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese 
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg 
  • dash of cayenne pepper 
Method: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 
  2. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave on high for 7 to 8 minutes, or until barely tender. When cool enough to handle, peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Slice the fennel bulb in half and remove the hard core; slice the bulb into thin slices. Reserve the fennel fronds for salads or garnish, if desired. 
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil. Add the fennel and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, remove from heat, and set aside. 
  4. Using a food processor, combine the bread, garlic, and parsley. Pulse until crumbs reach the desired coarseness. Add the remaining butter and pulse until combined. Set aside. 
  5. Grease or spray a 13 x 9 -inch baking dish. Layer half of the sweet potato slices into the bottom of the dish. Top with half of the fennel and leek mixture followed by half of the Cheddar and feta cheeses. Layer again with the remaining ingredients until all have been used. 
  6. In a small bowl, combine the cream, the remaining salt and pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper and stir well to combine. Pour evenly over the contents of the baking dish and top with the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Baje for 45-50 minutes, until the dish is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from the oven. 
  8. Serve hot. 

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