Winter Vegetable Gratin

In my constant search for new things to cook, I found this recipe online at I was attracted by the photo which looked just beautiful. It’s the perfect time of the year for preparing true comfort foods, and gratins are certainly one of those dishes. This is also a great example of how to take essentially healthy, simple vegetables and turn them into something rich and decadent. I had more than my normal mess in the kitchen while I was preparing this. All the peeling and slicing, the many separate bowls, and my hands in the cream and cheese tossing the vegetables. The end result was worth the mess and my kitchen smelled absolutely wonderful as it was cooking. I served this as a side with a pork loin, but this would be a perfect dish to serve as a vegetarian entree.


1 pound of parsnips peeled

1 pound of butternut squash (neck only) peeled

1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed (I only had russets)

1/2 pound Brussels sprouts stemmed

2 1/2 cups of heavy cream

6 oz of finely grated parmesan cheese

4 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 T butter

2 cloves of garlic (I used more)

1 large leek, white part only, finely chopped

3 oz gruyere cheese, finely grated

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Using the butter, generously grease a 9×13 baking dish. A mandolin is very helpful for making this dish. Thinly slice the parsnips, squash, potatoes and Brussel sprouts. Put each vegetable in a separate bowl.

Add one half cup of cream, 1 oz of shredded parmesan, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to each bowl.

Toss until the vegetables are all coated.

In your prepared baking dish, pour the remaining 1/2 cup of cream. Add in your chopped leeks and garlic along with one oz parmesan cheese and stir until evenly distributed.

Now it’s time to arrange your sliced vegetables, alternating rows. Continue until the dish is full. Pour any remaining cream and cheese from the bowls over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remaining one oz of parmesan cheese.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce is thickened. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle with the gruyere cheese. Turn your oven on to broil. Broil for 3-5 minutes until browned and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow the gratin to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This was seriously so good.

NOTE: Feel free to change up the vegetables. Rutabaga, sweet potato, turnips, cabbage. Just be sure that they are equal thickness and cook up at the same rate. You can also change up the cheeses. I actually used equal parts of shredded parmesan and shredded asiago.

Roasted Vegetable and Cheese Crepes

Since we are all pretty much exclusively eating at home, every day is a challenge to think of something different to prepare for dinner. Just one more challenge wrought by this pandemic. A couple nights ago I made a big pot of tomato bisque. Since there are only two of us, this soup recipe results in a lot of leftovers. Some went in the freezer, some were shared with a friend, and I used some for the sauce on these crepes. One of the great things about these crepes is you can use almost any kind of vegetables you have on hand and whatever kinds of cheeses you have on hand. It’s also a perfect vegetarian meal that is very flavorful and satisfying. I have a favorite crepe batter recipe that I use for savory crepes. And I will share the cheese concoction.

Vegetables first. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and prepare your vegetables. I used Brussels sprouts, sweet peppers, onion, mushrooms, baby heirloom tomatoes and spinach. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and spread the vegetables out. Roast in the oven until veggies are tender, approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on the vegetable combination you use. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool before putting your crepes together.

Crepe Batter Ingredients:

1 cup AP flour

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

Dash of salt and pepper

3 T melted butter plus more for frying the crepes

Whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup of milk, and eggs. Whisk in the rest of the milk and salt and pepper. Refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes. Just prior to frying up the crepes whisk in 3 T of melted butter. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat and brush with melted butter. Pour in 1/4 cup of batter and swirl to cover the entire surface.

Flip the crepe to cook the other side.

I slide mine onto a platter and separate with sheets of wax paper. Repeat this process until you’ve used all of the batter. This recipe makes about 12 crepes.

Now you can mix your cheeses of choice.

Cheese Combination:

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh basil

Whip together to get a nice, smooth consistency for spreading. Now you’re ready to assemble your crepes. Preheat the oven to 350 and line the pan you used to roast the vegetables with a fresh piece of parchment paper. Working with one crepe at a time, give it a good smear of cheese down the center.

Add the grilled veggies on top of the cheese.

Roll the crepe and transfer to the baking sheet. Continue until you have used all of the cheese and veggies. Sprinkle a little additional shredded cheese on top and bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve as is or with a sauce of your choosing. The tomato bisque is perfect.

Soup one day. Sauce the next.

NOTE:. While any combination of cheeses will work it’s helpful to have a creamy cheese like goat cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, mascarpone, or ricotta to get a spreadable consistency.

A hollandaise, Alfredo, or simple marinara would be great sauces as well.