From Mark Diacono’s plot in Devon this month, a recipe to make the most of his favourite blissfully bitter root veg - celeriac
“I’ll eat dauphinoise at any time of year, but this potato/celeriac split in the heart of winter’s cold is probably my favourite. Serve with griddled chicory or sprouting broccoli.”
25g unsalted butter, softened
300g waxy potatoes
300ml double cream
4 bay leaves
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 Preheat oven to 170C/Fan 150C/325F. Rub a gratin dish liberally with butter.
2 Peel the potatoes and celeriac and slice thinly, either with a sharp knife or a mandoline, submerging the celeriac slices in water with a little lemon juice to prevent them discolouring.
3 Whisk together the cream and garlic and season well. Toss the veg in the mixture and layer them in alternate layers in the gratin dish with the bay leaves, then pour over any remaining cream.
4 Bake for 75 mins, pressing down all over with a fish slice or spatula every 20 mins or so, to stop the spuds from drying out. It is ready when the top is bubbling and golden, and the vegetables soft and yielding when pierced with a knife.
Recipe and photograph by Mark Diacono, a green-fingered foodie who grows, cooks and eats the best of the familiar, forgotten and climate-change foods on his Devon smallholding. His book A Year at Otter Farm (Bloomsbury, £25) has inspiring recipes for every season.
Mark Diacono's regular feature - Postcards from the hedge - charts the changing of the seasons from his West Country plot. Turn to page 120 of January’s The Simple Things for more. Not got the January issue? Buy, download or subscribe today.