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Author Notes: This recipe allows beets to shine in a cast of minimal characters. Layers of beets are thinly cloaked in olive oil, then dusted with Gruyère cheese, fresh thyme and a trace of nutmeg. The presentation is simple and absent of any gratin goopiness. The flavors meld together while cooking, and the beets release their juices saturating the gratin with their brilliant color. The result is a visually stunning dish that warrants a place at the holiday table. —TasteFood
- Unsalted butter
- 4 large beets, skin removed
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, finely grated
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- Ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter 4 ramekins (or a medium sized gratin dish.)
- Thinly slice beets with a mandoline. Arrange one layer of sliced beets in each ramekin - one slice may fit perfectly. (Alternatively, arrange slices, slightly overlapping, in one layer in gratin dish.)
- Lightly brush beets with olive oil. Sprinkle with cheese, a little thyme and a pinch of nutmeg. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat layering process until there are no more beets, pressing down lightly after each layer is assembled. Make sure that the top has a generous covering of Gruyère cheese.
- Bake in oven until gratin is bubbling, cheese is golden and beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Serve warm with fresh thyme sprigs as garnish.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side