Beetroot & Fennel Gratin

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • 500ml double cream
  • 50ml soy sauce, or 1 tsp sea salt
  • small knob of butter, for the dish
  • 700g beetroot, thinly sliced
  • 300g potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced crosswise
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced into rings
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
  • 6 large eggs
  • 85g bag watercress, washed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  • Set oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Put the garlic, thyme, cream and soy or salt in a small pan and place over a medium heat to warm through. Remove and set aside.

  • Butter a 30 x 20cm ovenproof dish and layer up the vegetables. First put 2 layers of beetroot, then a layer of potato, a scattering of fennel, leek and ginger, and spoon over a little cream mixture. Repeat this process until you have used up all the vegetables and cream, finishing with a layer of beetroot. Press down on the gratin, then cover with foil and bake for 45 mins or until the vegetables are tender.

  • Remove foil from the gratin. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and bake for a further 10 mins or until the top begins to brown. Remove gratin from the oven and let stand for about 10 mins.

  • Meanwhile, bring a small pan of water to the boil. Boil the eggs for 7 mins, then cool under cold running water, peel and set aside. Keep the pan of water as you will need this later to reheat the eggs.

  • To serve, reheat the peeled eggs in boiling water for 1-2 mins, the cut in half lengthways. Cut the beetroot gratin into 6 squares and put a piece on each of 6 plates. Scatter a handful of watercress over each, then carefully position 2 egg halves on top.

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