- 1 tsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 150ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 plump garlic clove, peeled and halved
- 4 thyme sprigs, plus extra for sprinkling
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- good pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1kg waxy potatoes (try Desirée)
The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…
- 140g full-fat crème fraîche
- 75ml vegetable stock (Marigold bouillon)
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 25g Gruyère or vegetarian alternative, grated
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Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Brush the oil over the bottom and sides of a 25 x 19 x 5cm ovenproof dish. Put the milk, garlic, 4 thyme sprigs, bay leaf and shallot into a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the nutmeg and a little pepper. Set aside to infuse.
Peel then slice the potatoes very thinly. Pat them dry. Layer half the slices in the dish, overlapping slightly, then season.
Strain the infused milk into a jug. Put the crème fraîche into a bowl, then gradually pour in the milk, whisking until smooth. Add the stock and thyme leaves. Return this liquid to the jug, then pour half of it over the potatoes in the dish. Layer up the rest of the potatoes, then add remaining liquid, the cheese and a grind of pepper. Sit the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 1¼-1½ hrs until golden and tender – test by inserting a sharp knife through the potatoes. Stand for 5 mins before serving, sprinkled with thyme sprigs.