Leek and Root Vegetable Gratin

Leek and Root Vegetable Gratin

  • Servings: 8

This colorful side dish calls for winter leeks, which are stronger in flavor and texture than summer leeks. Leeks look like giant scallions and are related to garlic and onion. Can't find winter leeks? Any variety from the supermarket will work. Slice your russet potatoes just before layering to prevent it from discoloring. Covering this dish with aluminum foil helps prevent the recipe from overbrowning and drying out. Aluminum foil is a good choice when baking or roasting at high temperatures.

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mild cheddar or Muenster cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, thyme, chives, sage, and/or chervil
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large turnips or large rutabaga (about 1 lb.), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced winter leeks
  • 1 pound large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Assorted fresh herbs (optional)
  • Aluminum foil

Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl toss together cheese and chopped herbs; set aside. Coat a 3 quart rectangular baking dish with olive oil. Layer sliced vegetables in the following order, sprinkling salt, pepper, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cheese mixture between each layer: half the turnip slices, half the potato slices, half the leek slices, half the parsnip slices, and half the sweet potato slices. Repeat, ending with sweet potato slices. Reserve remaining cheese mixture.

Step 2

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture over top. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Continue baking, uncovered, 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Step 3

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs. Let stand 10 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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