Aaron adores parsnips. They may be his favorite vegetable, and it just so happens that I am rather fond of this root too. Parsnips could be the entire basis of our relationship. (Well they were after I made this root gratin…I kid.) Way back when I made this for our first couple’s Christmas, he expressed the desire for a gratin type of dish but to maybe include parsnips. I searched through some of my favorite blogs and came up empty handed. So, I decided to consult one of the big names, Food Network, and I found this gem aptly called Root Gratin.
Like with many recipes I try, things get changed because I forget an ingredient, or I didn’t like the original recipe and decided it needed to change. So, my recipes change by one of two methods: necessity or choice. I did not have Tarragon, so I used Rosemary and Thyme. As always I increased the amount of garlic. I added extra Gorgonzola cheese because the container it comes in has more than the original recipe called for, and who really wants 2 oz of leftover Gorgonzola cheese hanging out in the back of their fridge for time immemorial? I also eliminated the celery root from this dish. The first time I made it, I found it to have an odd rubbery texture that was discordant with the rest of the roots. To make up for its loss, I added more parsnips and sweet potatoes. In the end all these changes turned out spectacularly, and Aaron could not stop eating it…neither could I. This dish is also now the reason I own a mandoline.
Adapted from Food Network
1.5 pounds parsnips, peeled
1.5 pound sweet potato, peeled
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock (you can use veggie stock too)
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
1.5 tablespoon minced or crushed garlic
8-10 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Panko Crumbs or crushed crackers
1. Preheat oven to 400° F with rack in middle.
2. Slice vegetables into 1/4-inch thick slices.
3. In a large bowl, toss vegetables with cream, stock, Rosemary, Thyme, salt and pepper, garlic and Gorgonzola.
4. Put into gratin or casserole dish, sprinkle with Panko crumbs or crushed crackers and cover loosely with heavy duty foil.
5. Bake for 1 hour, until vegetables are fork tender.
6. If tender, remove foil, leave dish on middle rack and turn broiler on high. Broil gratin until top is golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Gratin can be made 1 day ahead and reheated at 325 degrees F, covered with foil for approximately 50 minutes.