GARAM MASALA ROOT VEGETABLE GRATIN
*** FIRST POST WAS ON MARCH 3rd 2017 – This recipe was published on the Sunset Magazine website, along with a video that I had recorded in their test kitchen ***
*** UPDATED VERSION***
The farmer’s market is currently filled with root vegetables and leafy greens. I have grown to love beets, and cannot imagine any week passing by without beets in my diet! I especially love them cut into medium sized cubes, with olive oil, zataar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. I add them to salads, or grain salads like farro or quinoa etc. I use beets to make fresh juice as well, along with carrots, apple, orange, lemon and ginger. It is so good for you!
Beetroot are a great source of fiber, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C. Beetroot helps to lower blood pressure and helps to increase the hemoglobin levels as well. A few years ago, in the wee days, before we had kids, we used to go out a lot to new restaurants, try different cuisines, go for weekend trips to nearby towns in Northern California. We went to The Girl and the Fig on one of our weekend trips, and I had the most amazing beet gratin ever! It was so delicious as I remember, with some crusty bread and good wine!
This was my inspiration for this Garam Masala Root Vegetable Gratin with potatoes, yellow beets, red beets, parsnips and sweet potatoes. The recipe is fairly simple and adapted from Bon Appetit. I used fontina and parmesan, to make it creamy and salty at the same time. The melty bubbly cheese on the top with the slightly charred crust is the best part ! 😉 My whole kitchen smelt wonderful with the herbs like rosemary, basil and chives.
The root vegetables that I have used in this gratin are:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Red and Yellow Beets
- Red, Purple and White Potatoes
Feel free to use whatever root vegetables that you like. This gratin is a pretty free form recipe, and you can substitute beets for example with more potatoes or more parsnips.
INGREDIENTS OF THE CREAM MIXTURE:
The ingredients of the cream mixture are as follows:
- Unsalted Butter
- Shallots – I love a mild oniony flavor in the gratin
- Garlic – Garlic and Gratin are a match made in heaven!
- Heavy Cream – which forms the base of this cream mixture
- Herbs – I used rosemary, chives, and basil. But feel free to use what you like.
- Salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes – I used aleppo pepper. I love a hint of spice in the gratin. But feel free to omit the red chili flakes or aleppo pepper.
- Cheese – I used Fontina and Parmesan. Traditionally Gruyere is used, but I love how the fontina melts so beautifully. It is an underrated cheese in my opinion!
HOW TO MAKE THIS GRATIN AN EASY SIDE FOR THANKSGIVING:
The cream mixture can actually be made upto 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge. On the day of Thanksgiving, you simply have to mandolin the root vegetables, add the cream mixture once you have layered the vegetables in the casserole, top it with fontina, cover with aluminum foil and bake! It is truly that easy to put together. Make things easy for yourself and enjoy your loved ones during this precious time!
Once the casserole is ready, the bake time is 425 degrees for about 50 minutes, with the aluminum foil on. Then you bake it for an extra 10-15 minutes with the foil off, and broil it for a couple of minutes to get a nice char on the top! Remove, and rest for a few minutes – you do not want to burn your tongue!
You ofcourse need to pair a cheesy gratin with wine, and I paired it with this super yummy 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay from Meadowcroft Wines in Sonoma when I first put together this blog post. Now, I like to pair it with a full bodied red wine.
Make this wonderful gratin while the root vegetables are fresh and in season! If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment below on the blog post!
Garam Masala Root Vegetable Gratin
- 2 yellow beets, peeled
- 2 red beets, peeled
- 2 red potatoes
- 2-3 purple potatoes
- 1 parsnip, peeled
- 1 orange sweet potato, peeled
- Cream mixture:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes or aleppo pepper
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 1 ¼ cup fontina
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ cup fontina
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- Thinly slice all the root vegetables, as thin as possible 1/16 inch of a slice, using a mandolin.
- Cream Mixture:
- In a heavy bottom medium saucepan, on medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the shallots and garlic, and saute for a minute.
- Pour in the heavy cream, add the salt, pepper, garam masala, chili flakes and all the herbs. Stir to combine.
- Add the cheese and stir into melted.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and let the mixture thicken slightly, for a total of 5-7 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees C.
- In a 9 inch casserole dish (about 3 inches in height), butter the dish, add about ⅓ cup of the cream mixture on the bottom.
- Place the sliced root vegetables, one after the other, vertically in the dish, to form a tight pattern.
- Pour the cream mixture all over the vegetables.
- Top with the grated fontina.
- Cover with aluminum foil and put it in the oven for an hour.
- After about 50 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Broil the mixture for a couple of minutes before removing from the oven.
- Let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Garnish with the remaining chives.
- Enjoy with ciabatta and some red wine.