February: the month of love. The Anglo-Saxons called it ‘Sol-Monath’ or cake month, because cakes were offered to the gods. So instead of hearts and flowers, bake a cake for your partner this Valentine’s Day. For those who are sweet enough, try the recipe below for a savoury alternative.
Parsnip and Bacon Cake
For 4 persons
- 50g butter, softened
- 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a little salt
- 1kg parsnips, peeled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200g streaky bacon lardons
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 100ml white wine
- 120g crème frâiche, plus 60ml extra
- 225g Reblochon cheese, thinly sliced through the rind
- 75g Comté cheese, coarsely grated
â— Heat the oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 2-litre shallow ovenproof dish with a little of the butter, then smear over a tiny bit of the crushed garlic.
â— Cut the parsnips across at a slight angle into 5mm thick slices. Add to a pan of boiling salted water, bring back to the boil then cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain and leave to cool slightly.
â— Meanwhile heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the bacon until lightly golden, then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the remaining butter to the pan with the onions and fry for 6-7 minutes, stirring, until golden brown.
â— Add the rest of the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine and simmer gently until reduced by half. Take off the heat and stir in the 120g of crème frâiche.
â— Layer one-third of the parsnip slices over the base of the dish and cover with half of the onion mixture. Scatter over half the bacon lardons, grind over a bit of pepper and add half the cheese slices. Repeat the layers once more then finish with a layer of parsnips.
â— Dot with the rest of the crème frâiche, sprinkle over the Comté cheese then bake for 25–30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Try another recipe from Peter Walter’s here.