A Platter of Braised Green Vegetables with a Semolina Gratin


by: Faerie Chef

Golden, puffed, and ever so tender, the gratin is based on the recipe for semolina gnocchi but uses whole eggs instead of just the yolks, making it more like a pudding-soufflé—and more protein—dense. Since the gratin is on the rich side, I’ve made the braised vegetables the main element in this dish. Indeed, they are eye-catching and palate-catching, too. But the gratin is the foil that sets them off. In fact, it flatters all kinds of vegetable dishes—a mushroom stew would be divine, and so would something as simple as roasted asparagus.To complete the meal, nothing more than a crunchy appetizer is needed—salted almonds, crudités, or a radish crostini to start—and a salad to follow. For wine, choose a slightly chilled lighter-bodied red, such as a Beaujolais or Valpolicella.


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serves: 4


3 1/2 cups milk

sea salt

1 cup semolina

4 eggs

1/2-1 cup grated Gruyere or Fontina cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter, melted


1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to finish

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

pinch of saffron threads

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

1 large fennel bulb (halved lengthwise and sliced lengthwise into eighths)

1/2 cup dry white wine

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

10 leaves basil

4 zucchini (about 1 pound, sliced lengthwise into ribbons about 1/4 inch thick)

8 leaves tender chard (stems discarded and leaves cut into wide ribbons)

Nutrition Facts
A Platter of Braised Green Vegetables with a Semolina Gratin

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 722

  • Total Fat: 34.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 17.1 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 237.2 mg
  • Sodium: 751.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 66.9 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 10.1 g
  •     Sugars: 25 g
  • Protein: 35.7 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Lightly butter a 3-quart gratin or lasagna dish. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the milk in a spacious saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt. When it’s almost boiling, whisk in the semolina, Stir constantly as the milk comes to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2.  Whisk the eggs with some of the hot semolina, then vigorously stir them back into the pot. Add the Gruyere and half the Parmesan. Pour the batter into the prepared dish, drizzle with the melted butter, and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Bake until puffed, bubbling, and golden on top, 40 to 50 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a wide skillet. Add the onion, saffron, fennel seeds, and fennel. Cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes to heat everything up, then add the wine. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few twists of the pepper mill and tear a few of the basil leaves over all. Lower the heat and cook until the fennel and onions are translucent and the wine has reduced to a glaze, about 5 minutes. If the pan gets dry, add more wine or water.

4.  Lay the zucchini over the fennel, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add a few more basil leaves. Cover with the chard, add another 1/2 cup water, then cover and cook until the zucchini is tender, about 7 minutes. If you allow the liquid to cook away, the fennel and onions will brown beautifully. If you want it more delicate, then make sure the pan has some liquid.

5.  Gently turn the vegetables in their pan and then spoon them onto a platter with their juices. Shred the remaining basil leaves over all and season with pepper. Serve with a mound of the gratin, being sure to include lots of the golden crust.

Cooks' note:
While the oven is heating, make the gratin batter. Then, while it's baking, cook the vegetables. Both should be ready at about the same time.

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