butter for greasing the baking dish
1 med fennel bulb, cut crosswise into 1/8" slices (~2c)
2c thinly sliced yellow (or other) potatoes
salt & freshly ground pepper
2c half & half cream
Fresh or dried herbs (basil or thyme are good)
cheese if ya like (swiss, smoked chedder, monterey jack or other)
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease shallow 2qt baking dish with butter
Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of fennel slices. Cover with 1/2 the potato slices. Sprinkle with salt & pepper & herbs to taste. Repeat layers until slices are used up.
Bring the half-and-half to a gentle boil in a medium pan over med-high heat. Pour it over the fennel & potato
Using a large spatula, ress down on the top layer to submerge it. Dot with butter. Bake until potatoes are tender & top is golden, ~1hr.
If using cheese, sprinkle it on, grated, for the last 15 mins of baking - brown under the broiler at the very end if it's not golden yet!
Note: this dish can also be made entirely in a cast iron skilled - panfry the fennel & potatoes in butter until somewhat softened. Add the cream then pop into the oven to complete the cooking process.