Gratin of Salsify

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

    , plus leftovers

Appears in

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3 lbs) salsify
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
  • 150 mls (5 oz) cooking liquid plus 150 mls (5 oz) milk, or use 300 mls (½ pint) cooking liquid mixed with dried milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 50-75 g (2-3 oz) grated cheese – optional 25 g (1 oz) breadcrumbs

Method

As you scrub, peel and cut up each root, drop it into a saucepan of water, to which you have added the lemon juice.

Cut into 3 cm ( inch lengths, or into 7.5-1O cm (3-4 inch lengths, and then quarter lengthways, if you want slender rather than chunky pieces. Rinse and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, and simmer until just tender to the knife point.

Drain. You can use some of the cooking liquid for the sauce.

Melt half the butter, stir in the flour, and gradually add the liquid, stirring until you have a smooth paste. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then season and stir in half the cheese, if using it.

Combine the cooked salsify and sauce, and spoon into an ovenproof dish. Scatter the rest of the cheese on top, dot with the remaining butter, and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs. Bake at 180-200°C/350-400°F/gas mark 4-6 for 15 to 30 minutes.

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