- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cream (or milk)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 fennel bulbs (1 pound), trimmed of fronds and halved
- 3 large baking potatoes, peeled
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces semihard or hard cheese (like Gruyere or Jarlsberg)
- Heat oven to 375° F. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cream, garlic, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; set aside for 10 minutes. Discard the garlic and thyme.
- Meanwhile, coat a 2-quart gratin dish or ovenproof casserole with vegetable cooking spray.
- Cut the fennel lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Place a layer of potatoes in the dish and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Overlap with a layer of fennel and half the cheese. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, fennel, and cheese. Pour the infused milk over the vegetables.
- Bake until the gratin is golden and the vegetables feel tender when pierced with a fork, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven 15 minutes before serving.