If you’re missing potatoes, here’s an adaptation of a classic potato dish, using celeriac.
400ml organic double cream
200ml organic whole milk
1 large clove organic garlic, peeled and crushed or minced
2 TSP freshly grated organic nutmeg, if you can find it, otherwise ground nutmeg but maybe reduce the quantity
Leaves of 8 organic thyme sprigs
1.2kg organic celeriac (about 2 medium celeriacs)
unsalted organic butter for greasing
100g organic Cheddar, grated
25g organic Parmigiano reggiano, finely grated or you could use Grana Padano
Preheat oven to 180C (160 fan) or Gas 4
In a large saucepan, heat milk, cream, garlic, thyme, nutmeg to boiling.You can add salt and pepper (preferably white), if you wish. It doesn’t matter if the mixture curdles. Leave to infuse.
Peel and quarter the celeriac, then slice thinly. If you have a mandolin, all the better. This is important, to ensure that the celeriac is cooked, within the time frame. No mandolin ? Thickness of a 10p piece. Place the slices in the cream mixture ASAP and coat them, to avoid browning.
As the celeriac slices are thin, you may be able to reduce the quantity of celeriac you use.
Lightly butter an 18cm x 25cm shallow gratin dish, then carefully spoon in the cream & milk-coated celeriac slices. Press down, so that you can get level layers. Cover with buttered foil, butter side down. Bake for 1 hour.
Uncover the gratin and sprinkle with the grated cheeses. It doesn’t matter whether they are mixed together, or whether you add one cheese, then the other. Return to the oven, this time without foil, for 10 – 15 minutes. When the cheese is bubbling and golden, it’s ready to serve.
This would probably be a great dish to bung in an Aga or Rayburn on a cold winter’s day.
If you don’t have much celeriac to hand, then softened but uncoloured organic onions, cooked in organic butter or ghee, could be added in before baking. Don’t use an oil.
The full recipe should feed four people. Two people might only need 1 small or medium celeriac. If you don’t buy organic produce, non-organic is fine.