‘Healthy’ has different meanings to different people. In my world, balance is the foundation of healthy. I wouldn’t survive by counting calories and always skipping out on dessert. Food is my simple pleasure and I think casual indulgence paired with laid back, but consistent physical exercise, is the key to a happy me.
But when I say I just made this deliciously creamy, cheesy gratin, some people may gawk. Don’t let it stop you. I’m here to tell you once again how delicious it was and remind you, there were plenty of vegetables in that gratin to ‘balance’ out the (oh, so rich and creamy!) cheese.
Preheat Oven: 400 degrees
- 2 medium parsnips (Second Spring Farm)
- 1 yellow onion (Birch Point Farm)
- 2 potatoes (Birch Point Farm)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3 large minced cloves of garlic (Loma Farm)
- 6 ounces grated gruyere cheese
- butter (to grease the 6 x 9 baking pan)
Slice parsnips and potatoes thinly to 1/8 inch using a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin simply slice them as thinly as possible. Slice the onion as thinly and then grease the baking pan generously with butter. Layer the parsnips, potatoes & onion with a layer of gruyere & thyme, reserving a few of the larger pieces of parsnip & potato for the final layer.
In a small pot heat the whipping cream, garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and a bit of fresh thyme. Once simmering, pour the mixture over the layered vegetables, slanting the dish to ensure the cream makes its way into all the nooks & crannies. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese and a dash of nutmeg.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Do not fret over the consistency of the dish at this point, it may still be watery, but now uncover the dish and bake for another 15 minutes. Finally, and most importantly let the dish sit to cool & thicken for another 15-20 minutes.
Heres to the rich & simple pleasures that make life just a little sweeter.