Parsnip and Comté gratin

Just a quickie today, because, let’s face it, we’ve all got chocolate eating and Baileys guzzling to do. Here’s a simple gratin that makes the most of parsnips, pairing them with Comté, a nutty cheese that compliments their sweetness excellently.

Side dish for six


4 large parsnips, peeled
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
300ml creme fraiche
50ml warm water
100g Comté, grated
75g breadcrumbs


    1. Preheat oven to 180C. Slice the parsnips, into rounds about 2mm thick. Transfer to a large saucepan of boiling water and parboil for about 5 minutes.
    2. While the parsnip slices parboil, melt a knob of butter in a large pan over a medium heat, and add the onion and garlic. Stir frequently.
    3. When the onion and garlic have softened, remove from the hob and add the creme fraiche and water.
    4. Spread a thin layer of the creme fraiche mixture over the bottom of a baking dish, then layer parsnip, creme fraiche, and a third of the Comté three times. For the top, mix the final third of the cheese with the breadcrumbs and scatter over the top of the dish.
    5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until deep golden brown.