Since posting my recipe for sweet potato and parsnip gratin, I’ve become even more enthusiastic about such easy oven-based cooking. The beauty of being able to prep everything in advance knowing such a tasty dish will be ready when you need it, makes it perfect both for entertaining as well as working-week suppers.
In this gratin I’ve replaced parsnip with celeriac and this readily available root vegetable brings a smoky almost meaty taste. I’ve also added bacon and walnuts but, with or without, it will be a whole meal – just serve some greens on the side.
To prepare, thinly slice the celeriac and sweet potato. Using an oven-proof dish, layer your slices interspersed with crushed garlic, walnuts and bacon. Seal with foil and bake until all contents are tender. Remove foil, pour over the cream and pop back in the oven until lightly browned. Done! It’s that easy.
Sweet potato and celeriac gratin
1kg sweet potato
8 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
225g bacon, sliced into 1 cm slices
110g roughly chopped walnuts
15g fresh thyme, taken off the stalk
¾ tsp salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
284ml double cream
Ovenproof dish 25 x 30 cm / 10 x 12″
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 1 hour 45 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/ gas mark 6.
2. Peel and thinly slice the vegetables (I do this in my food processor to save time).
3. Scatter a third of the vegetables in the ovenproof dish. Top with a third of the garlic and thyme, ¼ tsp salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Then add half the bacon and half the walnuts.
4. Repeat step 3. Then top with the remaining vegetables, garlic, thyme, ¼ tsp salt and lots of freshly ground pepper and then cover the dish in foil. Bake for an 1¼ hour or until all the vegetables are tender.
5. Remove the foil and pour the cream over the top of the gratin. Put back in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
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