But, I figured, I could get inspired by the way the vegetables are cooked (in milk/cream) and to use Parmesan cheese to give it an appealing look and delicious crusty top that would make it more enticing to my children and husband (and maybe yours). At this stage, I was ready to add more cheese calories for additional Winter vegetables eaten....and it worked!
The French pun-lover in me would call it a Gratin de légumes d'Hiver (Hiver means Winter; d'hiver reads like divers, which means varied)....Because Winter being peak season for roots vegetables (which I love), I used turnips and rutabagas, in addition to sweet potatoes (for color) and regular potatoes (for the kin-relation with the Gratin Dauphinois). You could also use carrots, parsnips or even beets, hence the divers.
The key time-saver in this type of gratin is to pre-cook the vegetables in milk/cream on the stove. If you pre-cook them together, you would lose the color effect of the layers but for the sake of daily
This dish was a really good and my children enjoyed it; I did help my younger one by pureeing (with a fork) his vegetables on his plate after he had taken a few bites... That was also a time-and-energy saver! As for my husband, he ate it... and even packed the leftovers for lunch. And, just that, shows a
- 6 small potatoes
- 1 large turnip
- 1 large rutabaga
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Heavy Cream (about 1/4 cup or 65 ml)
- Whole or 2% Milk (about 2 cup or 500 ml)
- Grated Parmesan (about 2 cups)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Peel and slice all the vegetables thinly; do not rinse the vegetables once sliced to keep their starch.
- Take a baking dish and rub the garlic clove on all sides.
- Combine milk, salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C)
- In a sauce pan, put all the vegetables and cover them with the milk-salt mixture. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid burning. The milk will slowly thickens thanks to the natural starch of the vegetables
- Transfer half of the vegetables to the baking dish, keeping the milk. Cover with 1/2 of the heavy cream.
- Transfer the remaining vegetables and pour the cooking milk over.
- Cover with the remaining cream and with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until you get a crispy cheese layer on top.
- Be aware that rutabagas require time to be fully cooked. You could pre-cook them separately a little bit longer to guarantee that they are fully cooked... or just skip them!
- To thinly slice the vegetables you can use a food processor or a mandoline. I had my son help me so our slices were not evenly sliced.
- You can cook the gratin ahead of time and re-heat it in the oven for 15-20 minutes before serving. It tastes really good the following day.
- This is a nice side to a roast, even a dry meat because of the creamy/milky sauce of the vegetables.