This is special occasion food. In this Parsnip, Potato and Leek Gratin, humble root vegetables are baked in loads of cream with garlic and gruyere cheese to end up as a luxurious dish fit for kings and everyone else.
Parsnips have never been high on my list of veggies but I found a beautiful bunch at the OZCF market a few Saturday mornings back, photographed them (of course) and then searched around for a recipe I could use. One of my favourite bloggers is Sylvia who blogs at Feasting at Home and she had this delicious looking recipe on her blog. As always it is impossible to resist any of her recipes as not only is the photography beautiful, her recipes are always interesting and delicious.
I have made a few of Sylvia’s recipe before, my favourite being a recipe for Portuguese Chicken and Potatoes that I used as inspiration for my Best Peri Peri Chicken Ever. Which really is the best Peri Peri Chicken ever.
The Parsnip, Potato and Leek Gratin is very rich but so good. There is a sweet earthy flavour coming from the parsnips. You need to be aware that the parsnips cook longer than potatoes so they need to be sliced thinner than the potatoes so that the gratin is cooked through at the same time. If not, recover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes or so to get the parsnips cooked. I think the gratin will be a great side dish with a special Sunday roast. Serve with loads of green veggies to make up for all that cream and cheese. Enjoy!
I am proud to be associated with Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kasselshoop Cheese and use it whenever a recipe allows. The South African cold press extra virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Riversdale area, has a whiff of fresh cut grass and aromas of green tomatoes, almonds artichokes and green apples. Kasselshoop’s traditional cheese is produced on the Kasselman family farm, Klein Soebattersvlakte. The farm is situated on route to Stilbaai in the heart of “fynbos” country. Here, four generations of Kasselman’s have been breeding Jersey’s known for the rich and creamy milk they produce.
- 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
- 3 large cloves garlic, mashed
- Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 500g parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- 500g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced but not as thin as the parsnips
- 100g Kasselshoop Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 100g gruyere cheese, grated
- 750ml pouring cream
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and grease a baking dish of approx 23cm x 30c in size
- Fry the leeks and garlic with a good glug of olive oil over a medium heat for about 5 minutes
- Layer half the parsnips, potatoes and all the leeks in the baking dish and sprinkle with half of the cheese, reserving the bigger slices of parsnips and potatoes for the final layer
- Press down firmly and place a last layer of parsnip and potato slices in overlapping rows and press down again
- Using the same pot you used for the leeks, heat the cream and whisk in the flour, salt, nutmeg and black pepper
- When the cream just comes to a simmer, pour over the layered vegetable, slanting the baking dish to all side to get the cream in all over the slices
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, dot with a few leaves of thyme
- Cover securely with foil and bake for 60 minutes
- Remove the foil and pierce with a fork. The parsnips should be al dente (If not place back in the oven (covered) for another 15 minutes until al dente)
- Remove the foil (don’t worry if the sauce looks watery and thin) and bake uncovered for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly
- Let the gratin sit for 15 minutes to set and thicken before serving
A few other of my favourite vegetable recipes :