As weary as I am of the cold weather, it’s not going away just yet, so wintry dishes are still in play. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve amassed quite a selection of root vegetables, and on Monday night, I decided to combine them in a gratin. I was inspired by a recipe in the March issue of Food and Wine for a lightened version, though I used what I had on hand for my own.
Thin slices of peeled butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, turnips and sweet potato all went into a buttered baking dish, each layer sprinkled with salt and a little Herbes de Provence, and every other layer got a dusting of finely grated aged Patty Parker cheese from Narragansett Creamery. I poured in a half cup of white vermouth, and a half cup of heavy cream to which I had added a healthy amount of Colman’s mustard. I covered the baking dish with foil and placed it into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, then removed the foil, added a layer of fresh breadcrumbs (a couple of slices of Seven Stars multigrain, pulsed in the food processor), another sprinkle of cheese and a few dots of butter on top, and returned the baking dish to the oven until the veggies were soft and the top crisp and browned (another 20 minutes or so).
The herbs, mustard, and flavorful cheese contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the vegetables, and despite the addition of the cheese and cream, this was not a heavy dish, just a richly flavored, satisfying one dish meal.