Fennel Au Gratin
4 to 8 fennels according to size
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup butter or margarine (for Béchamel Sauce)
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
salt to taste
grated nutmeg to taste
1 tbsp grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese
1 egg yolk
2 oz prosciutto, sliced and chopped
2 tbsp grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese
Place fennel under running water, clean, quarter and parboil. Drain. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan and sauté fennel. Set aside.
melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine in a saucepan, whisk in flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. While constantly stirring, gradually add the milk. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt and grated nutmeg to taste, the Parmiggiano cheese, egg yolk and prosciutto.
In a lightly buttered ovenproof dish, arrange fennel and béchamel sauce in layers; the curved part of the fennel facing upwards. Finish with a light layer of béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with Parmiggiano cheese, dot with remaining butter or margarine and put in a 425F preheated oven for 20-25 mins or until a golden crust has formed on the top. Serve immediately in the cooking dish.