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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Celeriac, potato and smoked salmon gratin

Adapted from a recipe I found somewhere on the internet

Aah celeriac, the Ood of the vegetable world.

This is a new discovery of mine, and I am really excited about it. It is seasonal, rich, creamy and really easy. The recipe is a bit like a cross between a gratin dauphinois and a posh Janssons Temptation - one of the best named dishes of all time ever. Who doesn’t love a bit of temptation? I guess this one could be a Dauphin’s Temptation or something. Whatever it is, its really tasty.

I have tinkered with the recipe quite a bit. When I made this the first time there was enough potato, celeriac, onion and salmon for one and a half gratins, but not enough cream. I guess most people don’t really mind if there is a bit of smoked salmon left over either. I have reduced some of the quantities to what I think would make a decent bake for 6 people, in one dish, but there still will probably be a little bit of celeriac left over – it is hard to reduce the amount of celeriac as they a are all pretty huge.

The original recipe used dill, but I actually really dislike dill, and made it instead with a bit of thyme and lemon thyme from my parents’ garden. It gave it a really interesting flavour, much less dominant than dill.

Serves 6

1 pack smoked salmon (120 – 150g, pack-sizes don’t seem to be uniform across most stores, so you might have some leftover)
1 large or 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 celeriac (not too enormous) peeled, quartered and thinly sliced. (Put the sliced in a bowl of water with some lemon juice in to stop them discolouring)
300ml double cream
About half an onion, diced
Few sprigs of lemon thyme, or a mixture of lemon thyme and regular thyme
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 c (with fan).

This dish is all about the layers. You will need a large ovenproof dish.

Layer 1: overlapping slices of potato and celeriac.
Layer 2: smoked salmon – just a few slices, it doesn’t need to covering the whole layer
Layer 3: sprinkle with diced onion and a little lemon thyme, season with salt and pepper, and pour over a little cream

Repeat layers 1 to 3.

Layer 7: Cover with a final layer of potato and celeriac, and pour the rest of the cream over the top.

Add a final decorative sprinkling of thyme and a bit of salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 30-40 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve with a big green salad, with dark green and bitter leaves.

Unfortunately I only have a photo of the gratin unbaked, because I was too distracted by eating it when it came out of the oven

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