Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Great Gratin Experiment. Or, Celeriac is My New Favorite Thing.

After days of staring down small mountains of root veggies in my fridge, I finally got inspired enough to attempt a little cookery. As mentioned in a previous post, I've never cooked turnips or parsnips before, and I've never even tasted celeriac. I've also never made a gratin, but somehow this seemed like the perfect vehicle for the veggies in question. I had a hard time finding any recipes that didn't rely heavily on potato, but decided to go for it in spite of some worries that so many root-ish flavors might a little overpowering...

Result? Delicious!

My measurements were rather imprecise (as usual) so I can't provide a formal recipe here. But, I can tell you that I used both chicken stock and half & half for the liquid (rather than oodles of heavy cream). This resulted in a very rich flavor without overwhelming the tummy, and would probably make a nice substitution in any gratin. I can also say that any combination of root veggies and cheese (I used a little sharp cheddar and parmesan) will make for a delectable and satisfying dish, with or without potatoes. Although celeriac may not be pretty, the flavor is such a treat--much like celery, but richer and more full-bodied. Combined with the parsnips, turnips, and kohrabi, each bite was packed with distinct flavors, all brought together with the sauce and the cheese. Very, very yum, and very, very hearty on a cool fall night.

So, next time you're thinking of a regular potato gratin, give some less typical roots a try. I promise you will not be disappointed!

1 comment:

  1. This is on the menu for the weekend -- right after a trip to the Farmer's Market!