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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.378 – Ottolenghi’s swede, bacon and walnut gratin

    Posted on January 22nd, 2018 charlotte No comments

    The humble “neep” of traditional Burns Night fame takes on a posh new identity in this Yotam Ottolenghi dish. The secret is the sage and the walnuts. Served with a green salad, it’s awesome! I used fromage frais instead of double cream and left out the salt. Yotam says: “It also works without the bacon, if you want to make it vegetarian.”

    Serves 6 as main course, 8 as a side

    swede-camelcsa-011009Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: one hour 15 minutes (mostly oven)

    Ingredients
    25g unsalted butter
    1 large onion, thinly sliced (200g net weight)
    200g smoked bacon lardons
    10g sage leaves, finely shredded
    300ml double cream
    400ml vegetable stock
    1½ tbsp dijon mustard
    2 large swedes, peeled, cut in half and then into 3-4mm-thick slices (1.4kg)
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    40g mature cheddar, coarsely grated
    40g walnut halves, roughly chopped

    Method
    Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Put the butter in a large, 28cm-diameter pot on a medium-high heat. Once it starts to foam, add the onion and bacon, and fry, stirring frequently, for seven to eight minutes, until the onions are soft and the bacon is cooked. Stir in half the sage, the cream, stock, mustard, swede, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and leave to simmer for five minutes, stirring every now and then.

    Spoon the swedes into a high-sided, 20cm x 30cm ovenproof dish, and pour all the pan juices and bacon bits over the top. Press the swedes down into the dish, and if need be move the slices around, so they’re evenly layered, then roast for 40 minutes, basting and pressing down once more halfway through.

    While the gratin is cooking, mix the cheddar with the walnuts and remaining sage. When the 40 minutes are up, sprinkle the cheddar mix all over the gratin and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until the gratin is dark golden brown and bubbling, and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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