Root Vegetable Gratin
- Yield servings
The gratin is defined by the sweet, earthy taste of the roots balanced with the creamy, almost nutty Gruyere cheese. Serve with warm garlic bread and a salad. For a more substantial variation, crack some whole eggs on top of the gratin to bake for the last 10 minutes or so.
- 3 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick-slices
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1 1/3 cups low-fat milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before cutting in 1/8-inch think slices. Cook vegetables in a large pot of boiling water until barely tender about 5 minutes. Drain.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer. Combine flour and the remaining 1/3 milk in a small bowl to make a smooth paste; stir into the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Combine breadcrumbs, the remaining 3/4 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl.
- Layer the vegetable slices in the prepared baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and top with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake the gratin until it is is bubbling and the top is golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.