22 Nov 2010
The flavour of celeriac, like other root vegetables such as parsnip is supposed to improve after the first frost of the year - and we have definitely experienced that in the last few weeks! A large knobbly and slightly ungainly looking vegetable, many people aren’t sure what to do with it. It can be cooked in a variety of ways similarly to other root vegetables such a roasted, mashed or in stews and the like. It’s also a natural bedfellow with potato and cream, lovely in this gratin or mashed together for the ultimate comfort food.
Celeriac & potato gratin
Makes one small gratin – a hearty accompaniment for a meal for two!
Small to medium baking dish
400g celeriac, about half a medium sized one
400g potatoes, about 5 medium potatoes
4 cloves garlic
Pinch of nutmeg
50g butter approx
Splash of whole milk if needed
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes as thin as you can get them! Peel and quarter the celeriac before thinly slicing, celeriac can be quite tough skinned so this is easier to do using a knife to slice away the skin rather than a peeler. Place the sliced vegetables into a bowl of cold water to prevent them discolouring.
Prepare the baking dish by rubbing it with a little of the butter, the dish can be small and deep or larger and shallow, cooking times may need to be adjusted accordingly. Peel and finely chop the garlic and set aside and have the cream and salt & pepper to hand before draining the vegetables.
Layer the bottom of the dish with a mix of potato and celeriac slices then pour over about one third of the cream and sprinkle with garlic and season. Repeat the process with another layer of sliced vegetables, garlic, seasoning and cream then repeat again until the dish is full. Finish the top layer with cream, pepper and a small sprinkling of nutmeg then dot with the remaining butter scattered across the surface. If the cream doesn’t quite cover the sliced vegetables top up with a little whole milk.
Place the baking dish on a tray in case the cream bubbles over then place in the middle of a preheated oven for about an hour. The gratin should be browned on top and cooked all the way through, test this with a small knife which should easily slice through the gratin to the bottom of this dish.
Serve with grilled meat or fish of your choice or with a green salad for lunch.