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Author Notes: There are so many recipes for gratins; almost all sorts of vegetable combinations can be layered with good melting cheeses, covered in luscious cream sauce and you’ll have a delicious side dish or a vegetarian main course. I like the earthy, sweet flavor of root vegetables and love to roast them. I knew they will be even better with cheese and cream infused with thyme, nutmeg or turmeric and garlic. —Kukla
• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
• 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
•2 large carrots or 1 sweet potatoe, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 medium parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
• 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, crushed
• 1 medium celery root, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
• 8 ounces Gruyere or good Italian Fontina cheese, coarsely shredded
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
- Preheat oven to 325°. In a small saucepan, bring cream, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and nutmeg to a simmer. Remove from heat, strain and set aside.
- Lay half the potatoes evenly in a shallow 2 1/2-qt. baking dish, followed by half the parsnips and all of shallot, carrots and celery root. Top with half the cheese. Add remaining parsnips, then remaining potatoes.
- Pour warm cream over vegetables. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese. Place on a reamed baking sheet; transfer to a rack in the lower position of the oven, tent with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour; then remove the foil, transfer to the middle rack and continue baking until bubbling, golden brown, and tender when pierced, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack, sprinkle with coarse salt and some thyme leaves. Cool for about 10- 15 minutes before serving.
- Make ahead: Up to 2 days; reheat at 325° until center is warm, about 30 minutes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Root Vegetable Side