You know you’re advancing in years when a) you get excited by the thought of buying a mandolin (the chopping, not the Captain Corelli variety) and b) you then get enraged because it turns out it doesn’t slice thinly enough for your liking. So, all ideas of conning my children by making vegetable crisps out of the window, I was left pondering what to do with my new toy so that I didn’t hurl it against a wall. As fate would have it, I was also pondering what to do with the remains of last week’s Nuns of Caen that the kinds folks at The Cheese Market had given to me in abundance. This recipe is therefore the coming together of some too-thickly-sliced vegetables, a luscious cheese washed in perry and – it only seemed fitting – some pears. It was eaten with pork chops, also cooked in perry with shallots and sage.
And very nice it all was too. Mandolin, you are forgiven.
400g potatoes, peeled
400g celeriac, peeled
200g washed rind cheese such as Nuns of Caen, rind removed and chopped into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
2 pears, peeled and cored
300ml double cream
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180˚c/160˚C fan assisted/Gas Mark 4. Using a mandolin, potato peeler or very steady hand plus knife, cut the potatoes and celeriac into slices. Cut the pears into strips. Mix the fruit and vegetable slices together with the garlic and salt and pepper.
Layer the fruit and vegetable slices in a baking dish, dotting each layer with the chunks of cheese.
When you have finished, pour the cream evenly over the top. Bake for about an hour and a quarter or until the vegetables are soft and the top is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.