Sweet Potato & Root Vegetable Gratin | Omega

If you think of gratins at all, you probably think of creamy casseroles with crunchy breadcrumbs or melted cheese on top. You may also think of the heavy, sleepy feeling you have after eating one! This vegan sweet potato gratin recipe uses the natural starch and texture of root vegetables to create a hearty, healthy comfort food.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large rutabaga (about 1 pound), peeled and thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled  
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Vidalia onions
1 pound large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, thyme, chives, and/or chervil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub a 9 x 12-inch casserole dish with the olive oil. Overlap half the rutabaga slices on the bottom of the casserole dish, making sure the slices do not overlap by more than 1/2 inch. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Thinly slice 1 of the russet potatoes lengthwise and shingle the slices over the rutabaga. Season lightly with salt and pepper. (Slice the potatoes as you use them to prevent them from discoloring and so that they retain their starch and nutrients.) Layer the sweet potato slices over the russet potato and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread about 1/3 cup of the onions over the sweet potato slices, then layer the sliced parsnips over these. Repeat the process, ending with sweet potato slices. If there are any rutabaga slices left over, alternate them with the sweet potatoes for the final layer. Season with salt and pepper, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and uncover. Sprinkle with a little more olive oil and the minced herbs. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top layer is nicely browned. Remove from the oven. Let set for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Excerpted from Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health by Michel Nischan, Chronicle Books, 2003. Copyright © 2003 by Michel Nischan. Used with permission.

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