Root Veggie Gratin
The week before Christmas, Boston Organics delivered a beautiful assortment of root vegetables to our door. I had already committed to making a lasagna for my family's annual Christmas dinner, but I'm a glutton for punishment (and food), and so I decided to make this gratin as well. I usually make a root veggie gratin two or three times a year, and the veggies vary based on what I have. But this particular combination: rutabaga, golden beet, heirloom carrots, baby potatoes--was perfect--a Christmas miracle! If you are going to go shopping to make this dish, I'd recommend this combination of veggies. And if you are making it to bring to a dinner party, I would bake it once the day before, and then once again the day of. Twice baking your vegetables couldn't possibly be good for their nutritional content. But whatever. It's Christmas!
1 large golden beet
6 baby potatoes
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
Half & half (get two pints--you will need a little extra)
7 ounces cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and start preparing the béchamel. Grate 3/4 of the cheese and set aside. Warm one pint of half & half in a small saucepan. In a separate, medium sized saucepan, whisk butter and flour together over medium heat. This should come together, forming a paste.
Reduce the heat to low, and gradually whisk in the warmed half & half. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. Finally, whisk the cheese into the sauce.
Slice all the vegetables to a 1/4 inch thickness. Spread a thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of a large casserole dish.
Add one layer of rutabaga.
Add a thin layer of béchamel. Repeat this process until you have used up all the rutabaga.
Then golden beets.
Potatoes on top.
I ran out of béchamel by the time I reached the potato layer, and so I poured a light drizzle of half & half on top of the potatoes.
Cover and bake for about an hour, or until the vegetables are soft. This is the first round of baking.
Once the gratin has cooled, top with the remainder of the grated cheese and refrigerate.
I made this gratin the day before. The second round of baking happened just before Christmas dinner: 40 minutes, uncovered in a 400 degree oven. If you're making it all on the same day, just bake it twice right then and there.
I wasn't able to take a picture of the final gratin before everyone dug in, but I managed to sneak a shot of it before it disappeared.
Twice-baked root veggie gratin: absolutely delicious!