It's common to see a gratin served as an accompaniment to a meat or poultry dish, but with a crisp green salad and plenty of crusty bread, this is really a meal in itself. You can cook it in advance if you like, then add the breadcrumb topping and warm it through just before serving.
- 1 bunch silverbeet (about 850gm), trimmed, half the stalks reserved
- 50 ml olive oil
- 80 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 kg waxy potatoes, such as kipflers
- 800 ml pouring cream
- 80 gm coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- 3 tsp thyme
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- To serve: crisp green salad and crusty bread
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Coarsely chop silverbeet leaves and thinly slice the reserved stalks, and set aside separately.
- 2Heat oil and 20gm butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming, add leek, silverbeet stalks and two-thirds of the garlic and stir occasionally until tender (3-4 minutes). Add silverbeet leaves, stir occasionally until tender and wilted (2-3 minutes), season to taste, then transfer to a colander to drain excess liquid.
- 3Meanwhile, thinly slice potato on a mandolin, combine in a bowl with cream to prevent discolouring, season to taste and set aside.
- 4Spread silverbeet mixture in the base of a buttered 2-litre baking dish, then arrange potato in overlapping layers on top, seasoning well as you go. Pour over enough cream to just cover, dot with 20gm butter, place on a baking tray and bake until bubbling and golden around the edges (45-50 minutes).
- 5Meanwhile, melt remaining butter, combine in a bowl with breadcrumbs, thyme and rind, season to taste. Scatter over gratin, bake until crumbs are golden and potato is tender when pierced with a skewer (8-10 minutes). Serve hot with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.
Drink Suggestion: White Bordeaux (semillon sauvignon blend). Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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