An Experiment in Turnips

Several months ago I was enjoying a few weeks in France with my girlfriends when we struck gold.  We were in Antibes (outside of Nice) cooking nightly dinners and overdosing on wine and cheese when we came up with the restaurant idea of the century: “Gratin.”  We brainstormed for hours, and ever since I’ve been gratin-ing anything I could get my hands on.  Remind me, next time there are berries in the house, to show you how gratin can be a dessert…

But until then, tonight’s experiment was to gratin turnips (this is due to an excess of turnips showing up in our CSA deliveries: there are only so many ways you can cook turnips).  Since we had an extra potato in the house, I threw that in as well.  This is actually a pretty throw-together meal, once you have everything sliced – you only need to pop it in the oven for about half an hour.  So here it is: my Turnip Potato Gratin (influenced by several different recipes, cooking method adopted from Bon Appetit).


Prep: Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Peel and slice (as thin as you can) one large turnip and one large potato.  Slice one half of an onion and saute for five minutes in butter, until translucent.  Add 2 cloves minced garlic to the onions: cook no longer than 1 minute.  In a medium casserole dish, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter.

Assemble: Build the gratin layer by layer in the buttered casserole dish.  First, place a layer of turnips.


Sprinkle on top of the turnips salt, cayenne pepper, thyme, and paprika.  Shred gruyere cheese atop the spices.  Then, layer two: potatoes.  On top of the potatoes, again sprinkle the spices and grate the cheese.  Layer 3, turnips, and so on, until all of the root

vegetables are used up.  Sprinkle with gruyere cheese and pop into the oven (covered with tin foil) for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown, slightly crispy.  Remove from the oven and pour a cup of cream on to the vegetables.  Grate some more gruyere on top and return to the oven for 30-45 minutes, covered (depending on how soft or crispy you like your gratin).


(Thanks to A for his help tonight.)


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