Fancy making this beetroot & pink peppercorn gratin?
Serves 6 as a side.
Comforting and colourful, this hearty gratin gets its mild warmth and fruity, spiced edge from the pink peppercorns. A food processor or mandolin will make quick work of the prep, otherwise settle down with a very sharp knife.
You will need:
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 400ml double cream
- 800g beetroot, peeled & cut into 2mm slices
- 175g sourdough bread, sliced (best if slightly stale)
- 20g cold butter, diced
- 1 tsp sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 tbsp pink peppercorns, finely ground
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt & black pepper
- Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Lightly crush the garlic cloves with the flat of a knife and put them into a small pan with the cream.
- Slowly bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Strain the cream through a sieve, pressing the garlic with the back of a spoon to extract its flavour.
- Season generously with salt and mix well.
- Pack the beetroot flat into a roasting dish and pour over the cream.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until the beetroot is just tender.
- Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor or blender until reduced to coarse crumbs.
- Add the butter and oil and pulse again until the butter is evenly distributed.
- Remove the foil from the roasting dish, then stir in the ground peppercorns and red wine vinegar.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Cover with the breadcrumbs and return to the oven for 25 minutes or so, until golden brown on top.
* Instead of the peppercorns and vinegar, add a little freshly grated horseradish or a spoonful from a jar.
* Stir in some fresh or dried herbs, such as thyme, sage or finely chopped rosemary.
* Replace half the beetroot with potato or another root veg.
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