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    Spring bake with fennel, Swiss chard, Taleggio & thyme

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    Spring bake with fennel, Swiss chard, Taleggio & thyme

    by Bart van der Lee

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes

    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients

    20g butter, plus extra for greasing
    200g Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    225ml single cream
    100ml Cooks’ Ingredients Vegetable Stock (from the chiller)
    700g Albert Bartlett Potatoes
    3 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced, any fronds reserved
    200g Taleggio cheese, cut into small pieces
    20g pack thyme, leaves only

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Butter a large ovenproof dish. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the Swiss chard stems and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes, until tender, then add the leaves and sauté for 2 more minutes. Season.

    2. In a bowl, mix together the cream, vegetable stock and a good pinch of salt. Peel and slice the potatoes, then rinse with cold water. Layer ½ the potatoes in the prepared dish, then ½ the fennel. Add the sautéed chard and ¾ of the Tallegio. Pour over ½ the cream mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 of the thyme. Add another layer of potatoes and fennel. Pour over the remaining cream mixture, then sprinkle over another 1/3 of the thyme and some salt. Cover the dish with baking parchment, press it down and put another tray on top to keep the mixture under pressure while baking.

    3. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, then uncover and add the remaining Taleggio. Increase the oven temperature to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Bake for another 15 minutes, until brown and crispy on top. Finely chop the reserved fennel fronds and scatter over the bake, along with the remaining thyme, just before serving.

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    Bart’s tip Change up the vegetables with whatever is in season or use a different cheese. There are endless variations to this dish and I find it never fails.

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