A vegetable gratin is my absolute top winter side dish. There are so many root vegetables to combine for a rich treat during cold weather. A gratin is, as my mother used to say, a very “forgiving” dish and it’s hard to go wrong making one.
This parsnip and carrot gratin was adapted from a carrot and cheddar gratin featured in a recent issue of “Fine Cooking”, one of my favorite food and cooking magazines.
First, I wanted to cut the size of their recipe down to serve only two-three people. I took their suggestion of substituting parsnips for half of the carrots. Next, I played with the cooking times and some of the proportions of the other ingredients. After some thought, I sliced the parsnips into thinner pieces than the carrots, since I imagined that they would take longer to become tender than would the carrots.
I served this with some grilled chicken, but, as always, a vegetable gratin makes a nice vegetarian entrée.
TIP: The gratin can be assembled earlier in the day, refrigerated and then baked just before serving. You might add 5 minutes to the cooking time if it is going straight from the fridge to the oven.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaved parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¾ cup cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¾ pound parsnips, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch discs (about 2 large parsnips)
- ¾ pound carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch discs (about 3 large carrots)
- ½ cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a medium-sized gratin dish, or any shallow-sided baking dish.
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet, add the onion and cook over medium heat until onions are golden-brown, about 10 minutes.
- Using a small bowl, combine the melted butter, parsley and thyme. Add the panko. Mix well. Set aside.
- Whisk the cream, mustard, salt and pepper into the onions. Add the parsnips and carrots. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until vegetables are just beginning to feel tender to a fork.
- Pour into buttered gratin dish. Top with cheddar, then panko-herb mixture.
- Bake until vegetables are tender and crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
I am also a huge fan of Fine Cooking magazine, I think I remember which recipe you are talking about, it called my attention when I browsed one of the issues I’ve got hanging around the house 😉
Loved the photo… warm and inviting!
Thanks, Sally – my husband decided last night it is his favorite of all the gratins I make during the cold months here.
Now, THAT’s some endorsement! 🙂 I better get to this recipe sooner rather than later….
I don’t think you will be disappointed – let me know?
This sounds great! its nice to see a different way to prepare parsnips, I never think to make a gratin with vegetables, thanks for the idea!
I hope you try it, Jayne – I’m using less cream and more milk next time.
I love Fine Cooking magazine too!! And love gratins. They do indeed make a great vegetarian entree since I can just add some grains or legumes to it. It’s such a wonderful meal in the fall and winter.
Susan, you were the one who taught me about “Fine Cooking” – thanks!
My Mom adores parsnips and would often add them to soups and stews. She doesn’t cook anymore and would love a dish of the fabulous gratin!
I came to love parsnips late in life – they always seem “fussed” at the check-lout lane, wondering about the correct code 😉
I love gratins and root vegetables – this is perfect.
Would like to pair this with one of your super braises.
Well I must admit, it’s possible I’ve never made one! I love the idea of carrots and parsnips as well as the color. I will give it a try!
That was like me and frittatas until brunch here last weekend.
Liz this photo is gorgeous! I love the light. This looks like a great recipe and a fun way to get veggies on the table.
Thanks, Lisa – not exactly on my diet but will work with 2% milk as well. Love root veggies.
Wonderful way to serve winter vegetables. 🙂 I’d like to make a version of this for next Wednesday’s dinner.
Nice way to get folks to eat their veggies 😉
I live for forgiving dishes. Thanks for another great one, Liz!
You are the gratin master, chef Steve…
Getting ready for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I have made the Fine Cooking recipe before, and it calls for simmering the carrots in the milk first. This step is time consuming/messy and I’ve always had a problem with the milk curdling. Seems you don’t precook – is that correct? Looking forward to trying it with carrots and parsnips. Thanks!