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Beetroot leaf and potato gratin

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Make pink-stemmed beetroot leaves the star of your autumn dinner with this comforting gratin

Beetroot leaf and potato gratin

The last of the spring-sown beetroot are harvested in November, having swollen to the size of Bramley apples.

We make a few jars of pickled beetroot, sliced and suspended raw (so the beetroot stays crunchy) in a mix of homemade cider vinegar, honey and bay leaves to line a store-cupboard shelf and last us through the winter. Rather than composting the tangled pile of leftover magenta and pink-stemmed beetroot leaves, we bake them into a comforting gratin for dinner. 

Beetroot
Beetroot leaves are the star of this autumn dish/Credit: Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford
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Ingredients

  • Beetroot tops or chard, leaves and stems separated, and stems chopped into 2cm lengths 400g
  • Floury potatoes 600g
  • Double cream 175ml
  • Whole milk 175ml
  • Wholegrain mustard 2 tbsp
  • Butter for greasing A little
  • Mature Cheddar cheese, grated 75g
  • Dry white or wholemeal breadcrumbs 35g

Method

  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 170°C. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the beetroot stems. Allow them to cook for one minute, then add the leaves, cook for
    a further minute and drain. Next, peel and slice the potatoes very thinly (so that you can almost see through them). Then mix the cream and milk together in a jug and stir in the mustard.

     

  • Step 2

    Grease the insides of a baking dish with butter. Add a layer of potatoes to the bottom of the dish, season with salt and pepper, then scatter over a handful of beetroot tops and a handful of grated Cheddar. Continue with the layers until you have used up all the potatoes and greens.

  • Step 3

    Pour over the cream mixture, scatter the top with breadcrumbs and a little more grated Cheddar and bake in the oven for 1½ hours until the potatoes are cooked through and the top is crisp and golden, perhaps with a little cream bubbling to the surface.

     

  • Step 4

    Serve piping hot. This is lovely with a simple watercress salad on the side, plus a few crunchy slices of pickled raw beetroot to cut through the richness of the creamy potatoes.

The Seasonal Table

Kathy and Tom combine running their Somerset smallholding with full-time jobs, and also find time to write a blog called The Seasonal Table – a journal of slow food and slow living. 

Find out more about The Seaonal Table:

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