Finally! It’s cold. We can see our breath, winter coats are on, even gloves. It’s winter.
I’ve felt the need for cold weather for some time now. A slightly tepid Christmas feels wrong and January shouldn’t be balmy. I want frost, a red nose and cold toes.
I think the urge for these things is in our nature. We need a cold snap to kill off bugs and diseases, plus how else are we going to show off our new winter wardrobe without over-heating?
It’s also a chance to eat. To pile in and devour. Root vegetables are my favourite so give me this celeriac gratin over a summer salad, any day. This is so easy to make. If you’ve got a food processor. If not, don’t bother as life is too short to finely slice a kilo of vegetables. But in a food processor it takes about a minute. And when you take into account that the potatoes aren’t peeled (yahoo! knocks at least 15 minutes off the prep time), and the winning crunch comes from a few handfuls of Lizi’s Low Sugar Granola slung on top with grated cheese, you realise you are on to a winner.
I served this on Sunday to friends, and it was great, alongside a roast chicken and some charred cabbage. It’s the sort of thing you can prepare ahead easily and has none of the nervous breakdown pressure of roast potatoes – or is that just me?
Celeriac, rosemary and gruyere gratin
Start to finish: 15 minutes prep, 90 minutes in the oven.
700g red potatoes
400ml double cream/chicken stock (*this depends on how much fat you want. Use a bit of both, just as long as total liquid is 400ml)
2 garlic cloves, minced
75g gruyere, grated
Pines from a large branch of rosemary, finely chopped
3 handfuls of Lizi’s low sugar granola
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Rub a large, shallow ovenproof dish liberally with some butter.
Slice the potatoes thinly in a food processor. You could peel them first, but it’s not necessary, just a case of personal taste. But you do need to peel the celeriac! Slice that thinly too.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream/stock, garlic and 50g cheese. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes and celeriac in the creamy mixture, making sure it’s all covered. Then take handfuls of the vegetables and place them in the dish. Flatten them with your hands, making sure they are evenly spread. Pour over the remaining cream/stock.
In a small bowl, place the last 25g grated cheese, the rosemary pines and the granola. Stir with a fork to make sure it’s evenly mixed and then scatter over the top of the gratin, making sure it is evenly covered.
Bake for 1¼ -1½ hours. You’ll know it’s done when the prongs of a fork easily goes through the vegetables. The top should be golden and the celeriac and potatoes tender.
Place a rosemary branch on top, for a picturesque flourish and serve!