Seasonal local recipe No 123: Three-root boulangèrePosted on December 2nd, 2011 5 comments
With a selection of roots in our boxes this week – and with the weather getting colder – it seems a good idea to try this ‘comfort food’ recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day. He says that while it’s not exactly ‘light’, it’s certainly less rich than a creamy dauphinoise-style gratin.
You could also substitute other seasonal roots such as Jerusalem artichokes, carrots or swede which would all work well. Good served with some big flat field mushrooms simply baked with some butter, garlic and cheese, and some good bread.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: about an hour
2 onions, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small celeriac
2 large potatoes
3 large parsnips
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves only, chopped
3 sage leaves, finely chopped
about 1.2 litres vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven the 180C/gas 4. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and use some of it to grease a large gratin dish. Add the onions to the pan and sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft, then add the garlic and cook gently for a further minute or two.
Meanwhile, peel the celeriac, potatoes and parsnips and cut into slices the thickness of a 10p piece, slicing the parsnips lengthways. Spread out the celeriac in the gratin dish, season generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with half the onions and half the herbs. Layer the parsnips on top, then scatter the remaining onions and herbs on top and finish with a layer of potatoes.
Bring the stock to a simmer and add some salt and pepper, then pour over the vegetables to barely cover them (you may not need all of it). Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or so until the vegetables are cooked.
At this point, if there is still liquid covering the potatoes, spoon off a little and return the dish to the oven for 15 minutes or so, to brown the potatoes on the top. Serve piping hot.
I made this dish last night, and although slicing the celeriac sent me to the emergency room to get three stitches in my finger, the dinner was just delicious. Just beware the celeriac!
Ow – I’m really sorry to hear about the stitches, Ann. Hope the finger’s getting better. As Charlotte suggests, I use my largest knife and hold both handle and tip to slice down the outside of the celeriac – but they can be real beasts to deal with. Hopefully worth the effort though!
Having read the comments I feel lucky to have all my fingers intact after making this, especially as I used my new Nakiri knife to get the skin off the celeriac, boy it’s a sharp knife!
I’ve posted my own pics and variation on this recipe (using 4 roots and adding a layer of roast beef) on my blog, feel free to check it out here: http://superbootcamps.co.uk/2012/diet-and-nutrition/4-root-boulangere-veg-recipe/
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