Recipes

Silver Beet Gratin Pie

Often overlooked, silver beet, when its young and fresh, is a great vegetable and whilst there are a few stages to this recipe it is basically easy to make and not only uses the stalks but turns silver beet into a very special (and rich) vegetable side dish.

You will need for around 4 side serves:

1 Bunch of silver Beet (eight to ten large leaves with stalks)
Butter
½ cup of cream
1 tablespoon of flour
1 cup of milk
Seasoning
Pinch of freshly grated Nutmeg
½ teaspoon of Smoked Paprika (or paprika)
4 tablespoons of a soft cheese such as Goat Blanc or Fromage Frais or substitute your own cheese of choice
½ cup of coarse fresh breadcrumbs

Method

Silver beet, notorious for holding the grit needs to be thoroughly washed several times, using fresh water each time. Strip the leaves from the stalks and shred.

Dice the stalks.

Heat a tablespoon of butter in a frypan; add the diced stalks and cook slowly on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Generously season with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Cover with water and continue to cook gently for about 10 minutes.

Drain stalks from water and set aside stalks; use the same pan to heat and gently wilt the silver beet leaves ~ only a takes a minute then again add a touch of seasoning, the nutmeg and ¼ cup of cream. Stir well and put to one side.

Melt another tablespoon of butter in a saucepan, add the flour to make a roux and stir on a medium heat for a minute of two before then adding the milk to the roux and whisking make it into a smooth sauce ~ finishing off by adding to the sauce the other ¼ cup of cream, smoked paprika and stirring, heat through and thicken for another minute of two.

Finally, add the silver cooked and drained silver beet stalks from earlier and stir well.

In an oven to table dish place the wilted silver beet leaves and pour over the creamy white sauce mixture containing the silver beet stalks. Dot the top with dobs of the soft cheese ~ or if using a harder cheese crumble over the top and then top with the coarse breadcrumbs.

Grill under a hot grill until the topping is golden. A multi-function oven that has an in-oven grill works well for this. Use the top grill and fan function. Otherwise this dish can be ovened for about 5 minutes before being placed under the grill.

A dish that will surprise and have them coming back for more!

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