Fish & Shellfish
Vegetarian & Vegan
It’s somehow become a tradition that whenever my friend Elliott comes to visit he brings an eclectic selection of foods with him, and in the parcel he arrived with just before Christmas was a swede. It stayed in the fridge until I was planning what to cook for New Year’s Day lunch. The main course was my Pork and Apples recipe and I wondered what the swede would be like made into a gratin to serve alongside it - my worry was that it would be either too watery or too bland. I solved the latter issue by adding a celeriac for extra flavour and topping the dish with garlicky breadcrumbs, but the potential wateriness was a matter of making it and seeing what happened so I made a big pot of mashed potatoes as a fallback in case the gratin didn’t work! But, if I do say so myself, it was absolutely delicious and a real hit with my lunch guests - the perfect food for the cold, wet winter’s day yesterday turned out to be. So here’s the recipe and thank you, Elliott, for the inspiration!
Fry the onions in about half of the oil from the anchovies, then chop the anchovies. Put the celeriac and swede slices in an ovenproof dish, spoon over the creme fraiche and add the milk, thyme and chopped anchovies. Season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper and mix together with your hands so that all the slices are coated in a little creme fraiche.
Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180C (fan oven) for an hour and a half until the swede and celeriac are tender. Mix the breadcrumbs with the garlic, parmesan and olive oil, discard the foil cover and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the dish. Cook for another 20 minutes until nicely browned.