Make Ahead

Celery Root and Potato Gratin

December  3, 2012
2 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld/
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

I have been making this recipe for years. It is based on a recipe in the Dean and DeLuca cookbook by David Rosengarten. I have always found it to be a lovely holiday side dish. It goes well with prime rib roasts and roast chicken. It is versatile and can be made ahead to be put into the oven when needed and also is easily doubled. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere or comte cheese, grated
  1. If you plan to cook the gratin right away heat the oven to 400 degrees. Otherwise move on to step two.
  2. Place the potatoes and celery root into separate large pots. Cover by two inches with cold water and add a teaspoon of salt to each pot. Bring the pots to a boil over medium heat. Cook the vegetables until tender.
  3. Once the vegetables are tender, pour them out into a colander set in the sink. Drain the vegetables and let them sit for a minute or two steam-drying.
  4. Rinse out one of the pots and add the cream, garlic, butter, and saffron. Bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Add a hefty pinch of salt and a few grinds of white pepper. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese. Stir it into the warm liquid till melted.
  5. Place the celery root and potatoes into a mixing bowl (or the other blanching pot if it is big enough) and smash the mix with a potato masher. Add a pinch of salt then add the cream and saffron mix. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary.
  6. Use a little softened butter to grease an 8-inch oval gratin (12 inches long). Spread the rustic chunky mash out into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula, then crosshatch the top with the tines of a fork. Spread the remaining cheese out over the top.
  7. Bake until the cheese is browned, about 30 minutes. Let the gratin cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laura Mulry
    Laura Mulry
  • CarlaCooks
  • Raindrops on Rhubarb
    Raindrops on Rhubarb
  • JWB

5 Reviews

Raindrops O. December 22, 2020
We make this every year for Christmas and usually serve it alongside ham. It is fabulous and you don't need the saffron or heavy cream to have a decadent side.
Laura M. February 12, 2016
Do you have to use saffron or will this be good without it?
CarlaCooks November 2, 2013
I just made this and it's wonderful! I used a mix of cheddar and a Danish west coast cheese (hard and salted), and I assembled it the night before and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before baking. It was very rich and tasty. Thanks for a great recipe!
JWB December 10, 2012
To add to my comment below, I used 1% milk instead of the heavy cream and it was fine (though probably amazing with the cream).
JWB December 9, 2012
I made this tonight. Just as easy as making mashed potatoes, but with many layers of delicious flavors. And I absolutely love the ability to make it ahead of time. Thanks!!