Silverbeet Stem Gratin

Hello Dear Reader,

Hands up who loves no waste. I know I do, it seems to have become a bit of an obsession of mine, making sure nothing goes to waste in my home. I usually cook the stems of the silverbeet along with the leaves and they were eaten, sometimes, but they definitely were not the most favourite part of this veg. The stems really don't have a lot of flavour, compared to the leafy green part, that is why this dish really appeals to me.

I have made this dish a few times over the years and actually had almost forgotten about this recipe until the other day when I was flicking through my copy of Stephanie Alexanders book, Kitchen Garden Companion, I remembered how lovely the flavours were with the neutral stems of the silverbeet and thought it would be great to go with the slow cooked beef stew I made for Sundays dinner. I always have a jar of Kalamata olives and Anchovies on hand, as they both impart huge flavour and never seem to never go off, the other ingredients are just everyday food, always in the house.

Ingredients for Silverbeet Stem Gratin, clockwise from top left-
About 450 to 500 grams of silverbeet stem(depending on size of bunch) sliced into batons measuring about 1 cm wide by 5 cm long, 4 anchovies, sliced finely, 1 tablespoon oil, 10 olives, de-seeded and sliced finely, juice of half a lemon or lime, a small handful of parsley, chopped finely, 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, 20 grams of butter, melted and 1/2 cup of cream (not pictured)

Preheat oven to 190 C and butter a 1 litre capacity casserole dish well, mine was a little too big

Bring a pot full of water to the boil, add lemon/lime juice, add the silverbeet stems and cook for 10 minutes from when it comes back to the boil

Drain well in a colander and then dry well in a lint free tea towel

In a small bowl, add the cream, chopped anchovy, olives, parsley and 1/2 of the breadcrumbs (1/4 cup), mix well. Add the drained and dried silverbeet stems and mix to coat

To make the gratin, in another small bowl add the rest of the breadcrumbs, the parmesan and 1 tablespoon of oil, mix well

Add the silverbeet stem mixture to the buttered casserole dish and top with parmesan and breadcrumb gratin

Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and golden

No waste and a really delicious way to serve the often overlooked stems. The lovely flavours of the olives and anchovies bring this dish to life and goes well with any savoury dish. 

Over to you, what dish do you make to ensure nothing goes to waste?

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