January Recipe – Celeriac and Leek Gratin w/ Fried Cavolo Nero

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml (1/2pt) vegetable stock
  • 50ml double cream
  • Butter, for greasing
  • 1 celeriac, finely sliced
  • 450g (14 1/2oz) floury potatoes, finely sliced
  • 300g cavolo nero
  • 50ml olive oil

To make a Vegan poaching liquor:

  • 500ml plant milk, oat milk or unsweetened soy milk
  • 300ml oat or soy cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. If using make the vegan poaching liquor by adding all of the poaching liquor ingredients to a pan and stir thoroughly. Heat on medium and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan. Add the leeks and garlic then cover and sweat, over a medium heat, for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the leeks catching. Stir in the thyme, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  3. In a small jug, stir the flour into 4 tbsp stock Add the cream, followed by the remaining stock; stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. Grease a 2ltr ovenproof dish with butter. Layer up the celeriac potatoes and the leek mixture, alternating between each until all are used up. Pour over the cream mixture, Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, or until tender and golden. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, before scattering with the extra thyme and serving.
  6. If the cavolo nero leaves are large remove the stalks and slice the leaves into strips about 1cm wide. To blanch them, cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until just beginning to wilt, then drain well.
  7. Add the oil to the saucepan, turn the heat to high, then add the cavolo nero. Season, then cook for a couple of minutes, tossing frequently, until tender. Serve immediately.