Three Cheese Root Vegetable Gratin

Thanksgiving week is upon us! I can’t contain my excitement!! My husband, Joshua, just returned home after almost 5 months of traveling to potential residency programs. Finally having him back means I have to start cooking for him again… but I could not be happier about it!!! Life is moving, fast. The older I get, the more real that becomes. Am I right? One day at a time, always. I am doing my best to slow down and enjoy each thing life throws at me. Big and small. Good and bad. All things work together for our good.

My wonderful friends at Sur la Table asked me to shoot a gratin recipe this month. I’ve always wanted to make one of these. All those crispy, cheesy layers. I’ve been itching to use my mandolin and this beautiful Staub pan. We made it happen! This gratin has everything going for it: three root veggies, three cheeses, all together perfect. Boring mashed potatoes, step aside.

Serves 6-8

  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 pound large parsnips, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • ½ cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the butter over the bottom and sides of a 2-quart gratin dish.
  2. In a large heavy pan, combine the milk, cream, salt, thyme, garlic and pepper. Place over medium heat and stir for 3 minutes, or until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Add the Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes and parsnips. Stir to coat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are partially cooked. Remove from the heat.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer half the vegetables to the gratin dish. Sprinkle with half each of the Gruyère, cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. Add the remaining vegetables. Use two forks to arrange the top layer of potatoes in a slightly overlapping design, evenly distributing the different-colored potatoes. Ladle the hot cream mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with all of the remaining cheeses.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer or the tip of a knife and the gratin is bubbling and golden. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing.

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Roasted Cauliflower Gratin

4Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

This pleasant little dish is all the decadence you want from “macaroni and cheese” without the macaroni. Sub in roasted cauliflower for a gluten-free, vegetarian version. I was also so excited to use these little baking dishes– scored for $2/ea at a consignment shop. Oven-to-table cookware is the best! Cauliflower is such a nice vegetable. The smell of roasting it in salt, pepper and garlic is incredible. Alright: can we pause for a second and talk about gruyere? A Swiss cheese made from whole cow’s milk, it has a pale-yellow color and is wonderfully rich and creamy. It is perfect for melting and often used in fondue. It’s got a great little bite to it which I love. It’s not a exactly an everyday item (I’ve splurged at $19.99/lb for a the smallest block I could possibly find) but, when I have it in the kitchen I could eat it slice after slice till the block is gone. This is a bit like a casserole side dish, but would also make a nice lunch portion. It’s time to get steamy…close your eyes and picture this: you pour that gorgeous melted, creamy cheese over the roasted cauliflower and watching it seep into every nook and cranny. Then, you bake it until the top is browned and the cheese is hot and bubbly. If this doesn’t get your mouth watering I don’t know what will!! Don’t get me wrong: I’m a girl who loves her American mac and cheese. But I’m also a girl who loves roasted vegetables and fancy cheeses. The combo fulfils that guilty pleasure of eating a comforting mac and cheese, but guess what? Zero guilt. Eat your veggies, kids! No one ever said you couldn’t smother them in cheese.


Yield: 4-6 servings (depending on portion) — Prep time: 20 minutes — Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (panko, plain or Italian)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower, olive oil, salt, thyme, and pepper. Place onto a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes, stir, then roast for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 375 F degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.  Add the shallot and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the flour to the pan and stir constantly with a whisk for 1-2 minutes, or until the flour begins to turn golden. Pour the milk into the saucepan, continuing to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the nutmeg and gruyère cheese, reserving a 1/2 cup for topping.
  3. Spoon a little bit of the sauce into the bottom of a 2 quart glass baking dish (I filled four 6″ oven-to-table dishes). Pour the cauliflower into the dish and top with the remaining sauce. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and the breadcrumbs. Spread evenly over the top and sprinkle with a little salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  4. Bake in the 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from The Two Bite Club & Ina Garten, www.foodnetwork.com

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

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Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco