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POTATO, LEEK AND SILVERBEET GRATIN

Prep time: 25 mins, cook 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves 4-6

This gratin is a meal in itself and is great served with a crisp green salad and crusty bread. You can cook in advance if you like, then add the breadcrumb topping and warm it through just before serving.

  • 1 bunch silverbeet (about 850 gm), trimmed, half the stalks reserved.
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 80gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2kg waxy potatoes, such as kipflers
  • 800ml pouring cream
  • 80gm coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tsp thyme
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

TO SERVE: Crisp green salad and crusty bread

Preheat oven to 180C. Coarsely chop silverbeet leaves and thinly slice the reserved stalks, and set aside separately.

Heat 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.

Meanwhile, thinly slice potato on a mandolin, combine in a bowl with cream to prevent discolouring, season to taste and set aside.

Spread 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).

Meanwhile, 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.

This recipe is from Gourmet Traveller – The French Issue July 2011

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