Cook this soon, it is delicious and simple to make! A lighter, fresher feeling version of the classic potato gratin we all grew up loving.
Somehow despite a deep desire to eat foods like the traditional creamy potato gratin, my body and common sense suggests that other than special occasions, eating Potato Gratin is not in my best interests.
Meet this super tasty and satisfying answer to the cheese/cream lovers dilemma – just as tasty and introducing some extra vegetables and complex flavours. It is a little bit sophisticated, with references to Italy in the fennel, artichokes and parmesan, it goes with anything from a simple green salad, to salmon, to a big juicy steak. I have made it three times this week – just to make sure it is always good! I have found it simple to put together – using just a few ingredients, it is one of those recipes where time in the oven brings the sum of ingredients deliciously together. It makes for great every day food, or it is equally appropriate for a special shared dinner with family and friends.
I found the basis for this idea on Jamie Olivers latest five ingredient TV series – there are some great ideas for busy people wanting delicious food – not always fast or cheap, but very do-able.
Despite my ongoing but inconsistent efforts and attention to my garden (over many years), the only thing that consistently does well is potatoes, and even they seem to grow where they choose to grow and on their own terms. Unfortunately as my success at growing potatoes has increased my desire to eat them has declined, so this is a happy answer to some of my plentiful and very mixed varietal potato crop. Big juicy fennel bulbs, sadly, seem to be beyond me so far in my garden career – despite my continuing efforts, hence this beautiful bulb is not from my garden – fennel tops – I do excel at, and the garnish is all mine.
POTATO, FENNEL, ARTICHOKE GRATIN
To feed 4 – 6 people – but as always this is an idea that you can easily make larger or smaller by adjusting the volumes.
Cooking time – one and a half hours at 180’c
- Oven proof baking dish to fit the listed ingredients
- Tin foil to cover for initial baking
- Approximately 1 – 1.5 kg potatoes
- 1 large fennel bulb or two small ones
- 1 small jar of marinated sliced artichokes
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup of cream
- 100 grams finely grated parmesan or pecorino cheeseP
Slice or chop into chunks your cleaned potatoes and fennel bulb directly into your baking dish (save the green fronds of the fennel to garnish).
Roughly drain the artichokes from the jar using a fork and place in the baking dish with the fennel and potatoes, the oil that comes with them will add to the flavour of the dish.
Sprinkle over approximately a half teaspoon of salt – this will depend on your salt – malden salt is less salty (and sweater) than table salt…..Remember you will have the parmesan as well to season the final dish.
Using your hands, mix everything together in the baking dish and pour over a 1/4 of a cup of tap water or light stock.
Cover tightly with tin foil and bake for one hour.
While this is baking in a small bowl mix together cream, 1/2 of your finely grated cheese and the mustard.
After one hour you can remove the tin foil from your dish and pour over the cream / cheese mix, giving a final flourish of cheese with the remaining parmesan.
Put this back in the oven and bake for a further half an hour.
Your Gratin should come from the oven burnished and still a little saucy.