Winter Vegetable Gratin

In my constant search for new things to cook, I found this recipe online at Kroger.com. 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.

Ingredients:

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.