Beetroot Gratin

The is a delicious winter warmer, idea if you have veggies coming round for Sunday roast and don’t know what to cook them. If they are the kind of veggie who doesn’t actually like vegetables, well… Give up? I saw this recipe initially in the Sunday Times Magazine, written by Lucas Hollweg. Usually his recipes are beyond complicated but this one I was mesmerised by the beauty of the beetroot. He was aiming to make a vegetarian main dish that wasn’t disgusting, lets face it a fair few of them are and if they aren’t – they’re boring.

You can serve this dish with your standard Sunday roast accompaniments or (for a healthier mid week option) with rice, or even with some of the Fougasse from last week (I did and it was delicious).

Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes

Serves 4

800g cooked beetroot, sliced (don’t get the pickled stuff! If you use fresh do cook it first)
olive oil / rapeseed oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
8 sprigs of thyme, remove the leaves and finely chop them (plus 2 sprigs for decoration)
200g feta, crumbled
200ml (or 1 small pot ~ 170ml) single cream

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan or gas mark 6.
  2. Heat your oil in a small saucepan with lid. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme leaves.
  3. Taking a large dish, cover the bottom layer in slices of beetroot. Sprinkle with the onion minture and half the feta. Season well, remembering that feta is a salty cheese – so go easy on the salt!
  4. Add the rest of the beetroot in a second layer. Top with the rest of the feta cheese, season and pour over the cream coating the entire top.
  5. If you wish, add the decorative thyme sprigs.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is bubbling and going slightly brown round the edges. If you are really hungry, it is all pre-cooked at this stage so wait 20 minutes for the cream and feta to get hot but then it will be edible if not as satisfying!
I absolutely love this recipe and have made it more times than I care to think about. It may not be the absolute healthiest with the cream and feta but the bulk of the ingredients are really good for you. Red onions apparently help boost your immune system and beetroot really is a superfood! It is really fast to put together and requires minimal washing up. Best of all, it looks impressive, which for a Sunday roast is definitely what you need.
Fleur xoxo

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