winter roots: celeriac, swede, potato, and leek gratin

I'm getting used to Canadian mid-winter staples once more. Which means very few greens. Quite a lot of root veg. Not a whole lot else. It's minus a million degrees outside, right?

My years in Britain spoiled me into thinking eating locally, year round was easy. I did it when I was a student because, well, I couldn't afford much else anyway. But now I'm having to be really creative with roots. There is quite a lot to be done with winter veg - from finely shredded carrot and beetroot salads to hearty root vegetable risottos.

This week I knocked up a very quick, very simple gratin of all the roots that came in my veg box. Bubbling with cream, flecks of fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage bring a flash of green to winter white. With some crusty bread and butter, it makes a lovely January supper.


1/2 small celeriac bulb, peeled and sliced 1 cm thick
3-4 small waxy potatoes, sliced
1/2 small swede, peeled and sliced 1 cm thick
1 leek, sliced into rings
1 small onion, sliced
175 ml single cream
thyme, rosemary, and sage, about a handful, shredded
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. butter
olive oil

1. Drizzle some oil in the base of an ovenproof dish. Begin by layering your veg, then season each layer and sprinkle over some of the herbs. 2. Continue layering until you've used all the veg, then pour over your cream. Season again and grate over a bit of nutmeg. Top with knobs of butter and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour at 180 C. Finish under the grill until just golden.
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