As a member of a CSA, I regularly receive odd combinations of vegetables–and in quantities too small to make conventional recipes for specific vegetables.
So, tonight I tried this recipe that called for three pounds of root vegetables. I included kohlrabi and fennel with the roots (turnips and potatoes). If I would have had some, I may have included radishes, beets, parsnips, or maybe winter squash.
My combination was delightful, however. All three of us had seconds–and the addition of one fennel bulb was not overpowering.
3 pounds assorted root (or other!) vegetables, peeled (if necessary) and cut into 1/8 inch slices
3 T. oil or butter
1 C. thinly sliced onions, shallots, or scallions
1 1/3 C. milk, divided
3 T. flour
1 1/2 C. cheese (Gruyere, cheddar, or whatever you like)
1 T. chopped fresh thyme or 1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. salt
1 C. breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400. Grease or oil a 9/13 baking dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook vegetables in water until barely tender, about 5 minutes.
Heat 2 T. of the oil or butter in a saucepan. Add shallots or onions and cook until light brown, 3-4 minutes. Add 1 C. milk and bring to a simmer. Combine flour and the remaining 1/3 C. milk in a small bowl to make a smooth paste; stir into the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 C. cheese, thyme, salt and pepper.
Combine the breadcrumbs, 3/4 C. cheese, and 1 T. oil in a bowl.
Layer the vegetable slives in the prepared baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake the gratin until bubbling and golden, 30-50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.