Greece and France, especially Paris, are two of my favourite places in the world. I have daily daydreams about moving to Crete or Corfu or Rhodes, and I was once so moved by the beauty of Paris by night that I burst into tears as my taxi sped alongside the Seine. The beauty and the food of both places keep me coming back. In France, I have enjoyed many a potato gratin, while in Greece, spinach and feta is a classic, comfort food combination that makes everything better.
Last night, my passion for the food of both these places came together in the one baking dish with a potato and celeriac gratin with spinach and feta for a Greek twist. Just as I used some of the enormous Asda bag of spinach leaves a few days ago for a spinach and feta soup, I used a few more in this delicious gratin that I served alongside roast pork with gravy and asparagus, which I cooked in the oven with diced bacon.
The potato and celeriac slices give it satisfying carb-laden stability, the use of double cream is heavenly, and 200g of feta is crumbled throughout. Products labelled “Greek-style salad cheese” work just as well as the more expensive feta cheese – I got mine for 75p in Asda and it was full of the salty, creamy goodness that you expect from feta.
For the rosemary, I grow my own – it is a plant that is pretty much impossible to kill. A rosemary plant from a supermarket produce section generally won’t cost any more than about £1 (or 50p at Asda), they grow well in pots so you don’t need a huge garden, they are hardy in the worst of British weather, and it means you never need to buy rosemary again. I plant them all over the place, mostly to remind myself of the glorious rosemary hedges that grew with abandon at a hotel we stayed at in Crete.
Sigh, I really miss travel…