Monday, 16 November 2015

A Gratin of Vegetables for a Warming Autumal dish

 This time of year I start to think about comfort foods. With the autumnal weather in full force it's time to start making casseroles, pot roasts and bakes. I love getting the kitchen all warm and cosy, lighting the fire and start making warm and hearty dishes - filling the house with warm, spicy smells and rich dishes.

I often make a vegetable bake to go along side a casserole or pot roast, and with the oven already on it makes sense to pop the accompanying vegetables in along side the main course to cook.

This week I made a very cheesy vegetable bake. You can use any vegetables you wish in this dish from potatoes, through to squashes, chards and Mediterranean vegetables such as aubergine and peppers. It also a good recipe to use up any leftover vegetables lurking in the fridge!

This time I used broccoli, sprouts, potatoes, onions, a fennel bulbs, spinach and a few sticks of celery.

Recipe - serves 4 as a side dish

Approx 750g mixed vegetables
400ml double cream
100ml milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
few gratings of nutmeg
180g Strong cheddar cheese (or any other hard cheese)
2 handfuls white breadcrumbs
zest of a lemon
handful grated Parmesan
some sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven 180C/gas 4

First you need to prepare your vegetables. Peel, slice, trim and wash as necessary. You will need to pre-cook some of the vegetables such as the squashes, roots, broccoli and sprouts but tomatoes, peppers, celery etc are all fine left raw.

Once you have all your vegetables ready, butter a shallow oven-proof dish and arrange them with in, grate the cheddar over the top and set to one side.

In a jug mix together your milk, cream, nutmeg and mustard. Give it all a good stir and then add a little salt and pepper before pouring over the vegetables.

Combine together your breadcrumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest and thyme leave and sprinkle this mixture over the surface to form a crumble topping. Pop in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes until the top has golden and the creamy cheese mixture is bubbling around the edges......

I often make this dish on boxing day or the day after cooking a big roast - it's a good way to use up all the leftover vegetables and you can add any crispy bacon, sausages and stuffing into the vegetable mix as well!....

Hope you all have a great start to your week
Love Lizx

 Vegetable Bake