Root Gratin

By Bevi
November 18, 2010

Author Notes: This side has appeared on our Thanksgiving table for almost 35 years, and is a favorite of adults and kids alike. Linda Olney's recipe, included in the Time Life Good Cook series, is the inspiration for this dish that I have tweaked to be more appealing to the crowd that professes a dislike of turnips. Salting the vegetables prior to assembling the recipe leeches the bitterness out of the roots, and the substitution of Ritz cracker crumbs to top the gratin adds a delicate sweetness. - BeviBevi

Food52 Review: This Root Gratin is fantastic, creamy and earthy with a buttery crisp topping. I especially like how the parsnips add a sweet root vegetable flavor throughout. The half and half was delectable, however, you could easily enrich with heavy cream and/or a little nutty Gruyère. Definitely a keeper, this recipe makes a delicious accompaniment to any roasted meat and is tasty warmed up the next day! - Lapadialapadia

Serves: 10 to 12 modestly


  • 5 medium sized turnips, but feel free to throw in a rutabaga
  • 3 parsnips
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • heavy cream or half and half to cover the roots in the gratin dish
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
In This Recipe


  1. Peel the roots and grate them in a food processor.
  2. Liberally salt the grated roots and allow them to drain in a colander for at least a half hour. Then, squeeze the water out of the roots until they are dry.
  3. Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet, and add the roots. Stir for about 10 minutes.
  4. Place the roots in a large buttered gratin dish. Cover with the cream or half and half so the liquid is almost covering the roots.
  5. Heat the remaining butter in a skillet, and add the Ritz Cracker crumbs to the skillet. (I crush the crackers with a rolling pin.) Stir for just a few minutes.
  6. Spread the cracker crumbs over the top of the gratin, dot with the remaining butter, and bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Let cool just a bit before serving.

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