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Root Vegetable Gratin

January 21, 2011

Cooking is a learning process.  You learn through every experience and you learn about things you love (and things you don’t!).  I learned quite a bit from Root Vegetable Gratin.

I was inspired to make this dish after subscribing to Food & Wine magazine back in 2009. It was one of the first recipes that caught my eye that year. Still a rookie cook, I must admit I had no idea what a mandoline or a rutabaga was. Cooking with the unfamiliar can be intimidating, however, this gratin had my name on it. After Googling “mandoline” and “rutabaga”, I was ready to make it my own.

Two rounds of this recipe later, I broke my cheap mandoline while slicing the rutabaga. Although it was unfortunate, I learned a valuable lesson: culinary tools worth buying are worth buying well.  In other words, don’t buy the cheap ones; you will regret it.  Think of it as an investment. You will use these tools not only this year, but also in the years to come, as you make wonderful memories of meals with friends and family.  At least that’s how I justify it!

If I had let the mandoline and rutabaga intimidate me, I would have never learned to love the smell of baking winter vegetables in my kitchen, the way the vibrant layers look, or the delicious panko texture upon the first bite. So, whether you’re a novice or experienced cook, try this recipe and make some memories. It’s a perfect dish to take to your next potluck, holiday get-together, or weekend at home with someone special.

Health note: All three root vegetables in this recipe provide immunity boosters Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are also great for keeping blood sugar regulated.

Ingredients:

  • Large sweet potato
  • Butternut squash
  • Medium rutabaga
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 c. broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 3/4 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mandoline the vegetables 1/8″ thick (if you don’t have a mandoline, use a sharp knife to slice the vegetables).
  3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and arrange the sweet potatoes to form the first layer, overlapping slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Repeat layering with each vegetable.
  5. When finished layering, pour broth over and around the vegetables.
  6. Cover with foil.

Baking Insructions:

  1. Bake covered vegetables for one hour.
  2. Remove from oven and pour the cream over the gratin.
  3. Bake for another 30 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken.
  4. Remove dish from oven once again and preheat the broiler.
  5. Mix the panko with the evoo and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the mixture over the gratin.
  6. Return dish, uncovered, to oven and broil for about 2 minutes, until the bread crumbs have turned crispy and golden (be careful because they will burn quickly if you do not keep an eye on them).
  7. Let gratin rest for 10 minutes and serve!
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2011 5:43 pm

    I’ve never tried rutabaga, but it looks like a fun vegetable to work with!

  2. Donna permalink
    March 5, 2011 2:15 am

    I am eager to try this one. My Dad had a thing for rutabaga, so I will try this one out and think of him. I am sure he would have enjoyed it and he would like this thing you are doing, regarding the starchgastroblog website.

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