Monday: Root Vegetable Gratin

Here’s my inspiration (as usual, found at Epicurious), as well as my personal editing (I’m taking out these parts of the published recipe, and adding in these parts), based on what I actually have on hand:

Root Vegetable Gratin

Gourmet  | January 2004

yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 45 min
  • Unsalted butter for greasing baking pan
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb celery root (sometimes called celeriac)
  • 1 lb carrots (4 large)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz Gruyère, coarsely grated (1/2 cup)


  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Butter an 8-inch flameproof ceramic dish or metal baking pan.
  2. Simmer cream, milk, thyme, salt, and pepper, uncovered, in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 10 to 13 minutes.
  3. While mixture is simmering, peel celery root with a sharp knife, then cut into large wedges. Coarsely grate carrots and celery root in a food processor. Toss with flour in a large bowl until coated well, then add to cream mixture and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer to baking dish and smooth top. Sprinkle evenly with Gruyère and bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn on broiler and broil gratin 5 to 6 inches from heat until top is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

The Verdict:

We enjoyed this gratin as well.  Really, I can’t think of any thing involving cream, butter & cheese that we wouldn’t enjoy.  We roasted the rest of our pre-prepped vegetables with this, to complete the meal.  Yes, both the Root Vegetable Gratin and the Roasted Vegetables are likely best served as side dishes, but we can rarely manage more than one dish per meal, so two side-dishes are really an achievement.

I don’t know what it is about this time of year – maybe the human version of hibernating? – but I love, love, love any recipes that involve extra fat.  As my sister says, fat & salt are what makes food taste good, but there are times (in the spring and summer) that light meals, involving lots of fresh veggies and small amounts of light cheese, are totally satisfying.  Not in this dark, rainy, fall-almost-winter-time that we’re living in now.  I want lots of creamy, fattening, cheesy goodness and I want that every meal.  It’s soup and casserole weather, and it’s definitely fattening weather.  I wonder if there’s something prehistoric – trying to fatten ourselves up for the calorie-deprived winter? For the drain on energy stores that our ancestors felt before we had central heating?  Whatever it is, it makes creamy buttery cheesy goodness taste extra good right now!


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