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Potato Parsnip Gratin
Total Time: 1 hour
Active Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
What to Buy: Purchase medium-sized parsnips that are heavy and firm, with no splitting.
A good quality mandoline is indispensable in a professional kitchen and
useful here. Watch your fingers: Hold ingredients to be sliced cupped
in the palm of your hand, not the fingertips. For nice, even slices,
apply more forward than downward pressure. (Too much pressing down will
yield vegetables thicker on one side than the other, as well as feed
your fingers into the blade.)
Note: To make
the roasted garlic puree, peel and smash 6 garlic cloves and place them
on a square of aluminum foil. Add a splash of olive oil, fold the foil
to make a packet, and roast at 350°F until soft 15 to 20 minutes.
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1 pound parsnips
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons roasted garlic puree (see note)
freshly ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon salt, plus additional salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Emmenthaler cheese
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Note: To make the roasted garlic
puree, peel and smash 6 garlic cloves and place them on a square of
aluminum foil. Add a splash of olive oil, fold the foil to make a
packet, and roast at 350°F until soft 15 to 20 minutes.
oven to 425°F. Lightly butter a 10-inch (round or oval), 2-inch deep
gratin dish or pie plate and set aside. Peel and trim the potatoes and
parsnips. Slice the parsnips crosswise 1/8-inch thick rounds, pat them
dry, and place in a large mixing bowl. Slice the potatoes crosswise
into 1/8-inch thick rounds Toss the vegetables together and set aside.
the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot but not
boiling; remove from heat. Whisk in the garlic puree (oil and all) and
salt, and continue whisking until well-blended. Season with nutmeg and
pepper to taste, then return the pan to low heat.
the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the prepared gratin dish. Dot
with 2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the cheese.
Top with the remaining vegetable mixture, dot with the remaining butter
and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Pour the warm cream over the
Cover the dish with foil and bake until the vegetables
are tender when tested with a skewer or roasting fork, and the top is
bubbling (about 35 minutes). Remove the foil and sprinkle breadcrumbs
evenly over the gratin, pressing them down lightly with the back of a
spatula so they absorb some of the moisture and don’t brown too fast.
Return the gratin to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes more, until
the top layer of cheese and breadcrumbs is golden brown. Remove the
gratin from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
-Adapted from CHOW Holiday 2004 and contributed by Charlie Palmer