It’s the earliest days of spring and there are not a lot of options for seasonal local produce … with the exception of root vegetables. In January , Brussels sprouts were beautiful and so we put a Brussels sprout gratin on the menu, to rave reviews. So that gave me the idea of suggesting root vegetable gratins as a nice, easy side vegetable option. The following is a whole host of gratin possibilities that you can mix and match per your taste:
Brussels sprout gratin with hazelnut crumble • Mixed root vegetable (kabocha squash, sweet potato, rutabaga) gratin with almond topping • Classic potato caramelized onion gratin with butter bread crumb topping • Parsnip gratin with butter bread crumb topping • Mashed sweet potato gratin with butter, graham cracker, brown sugar topping
Directions are general and easy. Dice your vegetable and sauté in butter. Place in gratin dish. For your sauce, reduce heavy cream with 1 bay leaf, 1 clove, & a sprig of thyme until it coats the back of a spoon. Take off the heat and whisk in a little grated cave-aged gruyere to taste as well as salt and white pepper. Pour sauce over chosen vegetable. For the topping, coat bread crumbs with a little melted butter. Combine with chopped nuts and sprinkle topping on gratin. Bake in 400 degree oven until the edges bubble, approx. 25 minutes.
Pair this with any grilled or braised meat or game and you’ll be pleased with your results.