The leeks are still being harvested from the plot, but that’s about it now. I’m down to the last of my butternut squash, all of my potatoes are gone (apart from a handful I’d forgotten about and were discovered chitting themselves in the back of my cupboard. I say chitting, I just mean sprouting really) and also gone are the onions and garlic. Shock, horror, I’m having to buy these in the shop now.
Damn the hungry gap, it seems to have come early this year, and I didn’t even grow any purple sprouting broccoli this winter. I’m cursing myself for that. I still have some dried beans, and some frozen produce; chillies, parsnip chunks, plums and blackberries. In fact, blackberries will feature in my next recipe, but for now here’s a comforting gratin that goes lovely with pork or sausages.
I won’t give quantities, it all depends on how many people you need to feed, and how much of each veg you happen to have, it doesn’t really matter too much. I used 2 largish potatoes, 3 small leeks, and a small amount of squash, maybe a third of a regular sized one.
Slice the potatoes (I left the skins on) as thin as you can, and do the same with the squash (but make sure you peel that!) Wash and slice the leeks, then chop them down a bit further. In a casserole or gratin dish, crush a garlic clove with your thumb and rub it over the base of the dish. Add a layer of sliced potatoes, followed by a layer of squash and then leek. Season with salt and pepper and a few dots of butter, then do another set of layers. You could top the dish with a final layer of potatoes if you want, but I decided to stop at the leeks and added some grated cheese to the top. Pour over a small pot of cream (single cream, or double, I happened to have single) cover and bake for around 45-50 mins on a moderate heat. Take the cover off and continue to cook for another 15-20 mins for the cheese to turn golden brown on top.
If you want to adapt this recipe, you can pretty much layer up any sliced root vegetables and alliums.
This is how the first layer looked on construction: