Jerusalem artichoke and leek gratin recipe image

Print Jerusalem artichoke and leek gratin

This is a good winter gratin, when Jerusalem artichokes are plentiful and leeks have their strongest flavour. The artichokes add a nutty, mildly celery-like touch to this recipe, which makes a comforting midweek meal. You could also swap out half the artichokes for potatoes. To ensure this recipe is vegetarian, exchange the Parmesan for another hard cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1kg Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
  • 4 medium leeks, sliced
  • 25g butter
  • 4 rashers unsmoked back bacon or Parma Ham (sliced into 5cm strips) - sliced wild mushrooms are a good veggie alternative
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
  • 30g fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 250ml single cream or milk
  • 250ml vegetable or chicken stock (cooled)
  • 115g grated Cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas 7.
  2. Parboil the artichokes for 10 minute, then drain, cool and slice lengthways. Sauté the leeks in butter until soft.
  3. Once the artichokes and leeks have cooled, start to layer them alternately into a small casserole dish or oven tray.
  4. Between each layer add the strips of meat, a few slices of garlic and a few thyme leaves with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper (save a little of the Parmesan for the top). When you have finished layering the ingredients gently pour over the combined cream/milk and stock.
  5. The grated Cheddar cheese and the remaining Parmesan can then be sprinkled evenly over the top of the gratin and the whole dish placed in the oven for about 25 minutes. For a nice brown top you can shove the whole lot under a grill on full power for a few minutes at the end!
  6. Good with fresh peppery salad leaves, or with fish.
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