Curried Carrot Gratin with Melted Leek and Garlic

By • March 2, 2011 • 20 Comments

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Author Notes: I made a root vegetable (carrot, turnip, and beet) gratin for Christmas dinner and it was a delicate, sweeter alternative to a more traditional potato version. Using only carrot boosts the sweet notes, and because they are sliced paper thin (assembling the gratin feels akin to making something with brilliant orange fish scales), you need only 20 minutes for tender crisp carrots. Cloaked in curried cream, with melted leek and garlic providing some structure, I will definitely be making this again. gingerroot

Serves 4-6 as a side

  • 5-6 medium carrots (preferably organic), peeled
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 1 large leek or 2 smaller leeks
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons fragrant curry powder
  • 1 1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup finely grated Emmentaler plus more if needed (can substitute another mild, nutty swiss cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. FOR THE MELTED LEEKS & GARLIC: Preheat oven to 375. Prep garlic and leek(s). For garlic, slice of about 1/2 inch from bottom of whole head. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. For leek(s), thoroughly wash and trim end and green top, so only white and tender pale green part remain. Slice, drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Place your two packets on a baking sheet and roast until tender 45-50 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Combine melted leek slices and garlic popped out of papery skins in a small bowl. Add curry powder and mash to combine thoroughly, breaking up the roasted garlic cloves. Set aside, reserving about 1 Tablespoon of mixture in another bowl (I had about 1/3 cup of curried leek and garlic mixture). Turn your oven up to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a straight slicer (or mandoline if you have one) carefully slice carrot into paper thin rounds. You will have a heap of them.
  3. Assemble the gratin, by adding glug of olive oil to the bottom of a shallow round (10 inch) ceramic baking dish. Smear and spread about 1 teaspoon of curried leek and garlic mixture on the bottom of dish. Begin layering in the carrot rounds, you want them to slightly overlap. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cheese on top of the carrots. Repeat layers two more times, however before you end with your final cheese top, dot reserved tablespoon of curried leek and garlic on the surface. End with cheese, grating more if necessary to cover the gratin.
  4. Steam cream or half-and-half over low heat in a saucepan. Beat egg in a small bowl and temper by slowly adding 1/2 cup of warm cream, whisking to combine. Gradually whisk egg-cream mixture back into saucepan with remaining liquid. Add salt and freshly ground pepper, stirring to combine.
  5. Carefully ladle warmed cream-egg mixture over carrot mixture, gently pressing down edges of top layer. Liquid should come up about halfway in the dish. Cook for 20 minutes. If you want a golden brown top, turn up the oven to 450 for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Allow gratin to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Jump to Comments (20)

Tags: carrot, Easy, flavorful, gluten-free, quick, Vegetarian

Comments (20) Questions (1)

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Really nice, all the flavors are perfect together and a gratin, you got me there.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Sorry I somehow missed this comment, sdebrango! Thank you so much.

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over 3 years ago bethmichelle

Yummy! I love the idea of the curry! I will definitely be trying this.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much bethmichelle! I would love to know your thoughts about it if you try it.

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over 3 years ago VanessaS

This sounds great - I have it saved!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks VanessaS! I hope you do try it...would love to hear your thoughts about it too.

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks delious!!! Love the addition of the curry!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, ChezSuzanne! It has a lot of flavor for something that comes together quickly. I would love to hear your thoughts about it if you try it.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Wow, fancy! Love the addition of curry.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks! The carrot-curry-cream combination is yummy.

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

Where do I sign? Love this recipe and am looking forward to making it soon!!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much TiggyBee!! I hope you try it and would love to know your thoughts about it.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oooooooooooooooooh. Yes please.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks fiveandspice! I'm happy to oblige the next time I'm back in your neck of the woods (which, I always say, will be soon). : )

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. That's all I can say :-)

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks a! Your comment put a big smile on my face. I've recently realized it is hard to go wrong with sweet roasted garlic. In anything. I hope you try it!

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Love! The flavors and textures sound really wonderful here. I am struggling to remain virtuous with my recipes this week, maybe as a pudding penance.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much Sagegreen!! The flavors do complement each other nicely. I was so excited about carrots, as a healthful break after pudding, and yet I've added cream to carrots in two of my recipes! Lol.

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I like to think cream is healthy...in its own way. :)

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

fiveandspice...I'll take it! : )