Dancer, Instructor, Choreographer

J Michael Winward

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!  

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Ingredients

1 rutabaga

1 large golden beet

3 carrots

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

Allspice

Salt & pepper

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Slice all the vegetables to a 1/4 inch thickness. Spread a thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of a large casserole dish.

 

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Add one layer of rutabaga.

 

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Add a thin layer of béchamel. Repeat this process until you have used up all the rutabaga.

 

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Then golden beets.

 

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Then carrots.

 

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Potatoes on top.

 

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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.

 

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Cover and bake for about an hour, or until the vegetables are soft. This is the first round of baking.

 

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Once the gratin has cooled, top with the remainder of the grated cheese and refrigerate.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Twice-baked root veggie gratin: absolutely delicious!

RecipesJ Michael Winward