Potato and pumpkin gratin

    1 hour 25 min

    When making a layered gratin such as this it's important to think about how the vegetables will cook, how much moisture they will release and whether or not they will hold their shape after cooking. A mixture of roots and softer vegetables yields a well-textured result and provides a good mix of nutrients.

    3 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 450 g (1 lb) small main-crop potatoes, halved
    • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) pumpkin
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) dry cider
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) boiling vegetable stock, preferably home-made
    • 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary
    • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • 3 beefsteak tomatoes, thickly sliced
    • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano, stalks discarded
    • 225 g (8 oz) Red Leicester cheese, grated
    • 115 g (4 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr25min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Put the potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with boiling water and bring back to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until they are just tender, then drain.
    2. Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin. Discard any seeds and fibres, then peel the flesh and cut it into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes. Place in a saucepan and pour in the cider and stock. Add the rosemary. Bring to the boil, then partially cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Discard the rosemary and add seasoning to taste.
    3. Slice the potatoes and arrange half of them over the bottom of a 2 litre (3 1/2 pint) ovenproof dish. Lay half the tomato slices on the potatoes and scatter half the oregano leaves over. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with half of the cheese.
    4. Spoon the cooked pumpkin on top, adding all the cooking liquid. Top with the remaining potatoes, tomatoes and oregano. Mix the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top of the vegetables.
    5. Bake the vegetable gratin for 35–40 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden brown. Serve piping hot with a crisp salad and crusty bread.

    Some more ideas

    *Replace the pumpkin with butternut squash or vegetable marrow. *Use 225 g (8 oz) mushrooms instead of pumpkin, and omit the cider, stock, rosemary and onion. Halve or slice the mushrooms and mix them with 1 bunch of spring onions, chopped, then layer them in the gratin instead of the cooked pumpkin mixture. Increase the baking time to 45–50 minutes. The mushrooms give up their liquid during baking to moisten the gratin slightly. *Instead of breadcrumbs, cut a loaf of ciabatta bread into small cubes and mix it with the cheese, then use this as a chunky topping.

    Plus points

    This one-pot meal provides an excellent source of nutrients from many food groups. The vegetables supply plenty of fibre and a mixture of vitamins, including vitamin C from the potatoes and tomatoes, and vitamin A from the pumpkin (as beta-carotene). Cheese is an excellent source of calcium as well as protein. Bread is a good source of starchy carbohydrate and it also provides some protein and fibre. In addition, bread is fortified with calcium.

    Each serving provides

    A, C, E, calcium, B1, B6, B12, folate, niacin, potassium, B2, copper, iron, selenium, zinc

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