At its coronary heart, a gratin is solely some kind of filling, typically greens (root or in any other case) loaded with cheese, butter, and topped with breadcrumbs, then baked in a shallow baking dish or gratin. It’s about as homey and comforting as you will get.
Critically, butter, cheese, cream. What’s to not love? Baked till golden brown and bubbly, this makes a stunning aspect dish for prime rib, ham, or different vacation roast.
NOT TRADITIONAL BUT UTTERLY DELICIOUS
I break from custom a bit with this gratin, however the flavors work collectively fantastically. If you happen to’re craving one thing new, fascinating and scrumptious that is the recipe for you!
Potatoes are in all probability probably the most acquainted vegetable utilized in gratins, however for this, I lean into the basis veggie’s candy and earthy cousins: carrots and parsnips.
A little bit of fennel, with its delicate licorice notes, can also be added to the combination. For the topping, chopped pecans substitute generally used breadcrumbs.
The cheese sauce on this recipe is a béchamel enriched with candy and earthy blue cheese, which technically makes it a Mornay sauce, however I’m a fan of alliteration, so blue cheese béchamel, it’s.
HOW TO MAKE SMOOTH BÉCHAMEL
- Preserve your béchamel lump free and silky clean by warming up the milk and cream collectively in a separate pan, then slowly whisking the liquid into the butter and flour (a.okay.a. roux) a bit bit at a time so the flour and butter combination can higher take in the liquid.
- Cooking the sauce over a gradual medium to medium-low warmth, alongside with stirring regularly, will assist to forestall the béchamel from scorching.
WHEN IT COMES TO VEGETABLES: THINK THIN
- A mandoline helps make fast work of the carrots and parsnips, providing you with completely even and skinny (about 1/8-inch) slices with each stroke. (Simply make sure to watch your fingers and knuckles as you’re employed!)
- Nonetheless, in case you don’t have a mandoline, don’t fret; a really sharp chef’s knife and a bit endurance may also do the trick.
SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Don’t like blue cheese? Whisk in some grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano as an alternative. A smoked gouda is also enjoyable.
- You might even swap out the parsnips and carrots for various root greens; a mix of celery root and potatoes could be particularly good.
- I don’t suggest freezing the gratin, however to save lots of time, you’ll be able to assemble it unbaked the day earlier than you intend to serve it. Once you’re able to bake, take away the gratin from the fridge, and let it sit for about 30 minutes to return to room temperature earlier than popping within the oven.
MORE OF OUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY SIDES
- Tacky Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- Cauliflower Gratin
- Scalloped Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Gruyere
- Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Vegetable Gratin with Blue Cheese Sauce Recipe
For the gratin:
- 1 1/2 kilos parsnips, scrubbed and peeled
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 fennel bulb (about 8 ounces), trimmed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra as wanted
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly floor black pepper, plus extra as wanted
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons recent thyme leaves, finely chopped
For the béchamel, and to complete:
- 2 cups complete milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons (34 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly floor black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch floor cayenne pepper, elective
- 1 cup chopped pecans
1 Preheat the oven, put together the baking dish: Preheat the oven to 375℉.
2 Slice the greens: Utilizing a mandoline or a really sharp chef’s knife, reduce the parsnips and carrots diagonally into slices about 1/8-inch thick. Halve the fennel, then reduce into slices about 1/8-inch thick.
3 Sauté the aromatics and fennel: Soften the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high warmth. When the butter is foamy, add the shallots, and cook dinner till comfortable and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the fennel, and cook dinner till simply tender, 4 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir within the garlic and thyme, and cook dinner till fragrant, one other 30 seconds.
4 Layer the greens: Grease a big (2 quart) gratin dish or a 9-x-13-inch glass baking dish with butter. Layer half of the parsnips within the gratin dish, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.
Prime with half of the carrots, and season with one other pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Scatter half of the fennel combination on prime of the carrots.
Repeat with the remainder of the parsnips and carrots, ending with the remaining fennel combination. Put aside.
5 Start the béchamel: You may want two sauce pans, one small and one medium.
In a small sauce pan set over medium-low warmth, add the milk and cream.
In a medium saucepan set over medium warmth, add the butter. When the butter foams, whisk the flour into the melted butter, and cook dinner till nutty smelling and lightweight golden in colour, about 3 minutes.
6 Add the milk to the roux: Slowly whisk the nice and cozy milk and cream a bit bit at a time into the butter and flour combination (roux) till mixed. The sauce ought to be clean.
Deliver the béchamel to a simmer, maintaining a tally of the warmth and stirring regularly to forestall scorching. It should actually begin to thicken because it simmers.
Cut back the warmth to medium-low, and simmer till the sauce is thick and coats the again of a spoon, about 4 minutes.
7 Take away from warmth and add the cheese: Take away the béchamel from the warmth and whisk within the blue cheese a couple of crumbles at a time. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne, if you’d like a bit warmth. Style and regulate the seasoning, if desired.
8 Add the béchamel to the greens: Pour the nice and cozy béchamel excessive of the greens within the gratin dish and let sit for at the very least 15 minutes to permit the sauce to soak into the greens.
Scatter the pecans excessive of the gratin. (The gratin will be made forward up thus far, then refrigerated till able to bake.)
9 Cowl and bake: Snugly cowl the gratin with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for one more 20 minutes, or till the gratin is golden brown and bubbly, and the greens are tender when pierced with a knife.
10 Serve: Let relaxation 20 minutes earlier than serving.