Thursday, January 25, 2007

Turnip & Rutabaga Gratin

It started with Garlic and Sapphires, then I began to take more notice to the letter from the editor in Gourmet each month and now I just outright adore Ruth Reichl’s writing.

I do not, however, adore admiring someone whose name I cannot pronounce, so after some Googling, came across a 2004 interview with Reichl and Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air and listened, determined to hear the correct pronunciation.

Rie-shell (2 syllables, emphasis on first syllable) is how Gross pronounced her name. I meant to just listen to the intro, but was sucked into the interview and I listened for the full 35 minutes, mesmerized by Reichl’s soothing, smoky voice and by just how much of her passion for food came through in the interview.

She talked about foods of the decades with Gross and something she said about the canned goods revolution struck me. She said despite the blow canned vegetables dealt the food industry for some time, recent decades show a backlash to this trend and have not only sprouted farmer’s markets in most every city in America, the average supermarket now carries a wide variety of seasonal vegetables.

Reflecting on my own home cooking adventures over the past few years, I have to agree. Fresh fennel bulbs, red currants, kohlrabi, every kind of fresh herb, bok choy, parsnips and today turnips and rutabagas are appearing in even the lowliest chain grocery store near me. Or maybe I am just now noticing them? Either way, my recipes are better for it.

Turnip and Rutabaga Gratin:
(serves 6-8 as a side dish)

2 lbs rutabaga, peeled and sliced thin
2 lbs turnips, peeled and sliced thin
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 c heavy cream
1 c half and half (can use milk)

Layer slices of rutabaga and turnip in a shallow baking dish or gratin dish.

Season with salt and pepper, pour over milk and cream (mixed together).

Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on top. Let stand a few minutes, serve.


ByTheBay said...

What a wonderful way to use seasonal root veggies! Thanks for the idea.

Lis said...

I dunno, call me kooky but I think this would be a perfect side dish to the keilbasa and sauerkraut! :D

I've yet to try turnips and rutabagas, but I'll fix that soon. There are so many fantastic recipes out there (this one being high on the list) for these root veggies that I just have to get off my fanny and do it!

I love how you alternated the slices.. it's a gorgeous gratin for sure. :D

PS - Can I move in with you and Kristen?

Kirsten said...

Hi Lis!

TOO funny, I actually ate leftover kielbasa and sauerkraut and this gratin for lunch yesterday, and it was the perfect side dish.

Of course you can move in with me and Kristen - our names are so similar it sometimes like I am commenting on my own comments and vice versa on Kristen's blog. :)

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