Rutabaga, Pear and Turnip Gratin

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 45 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine the cream, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, a generous amount of salt and the turnips and rutabaga in a large bowl. Mix well. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large pot over medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally to assure the mixture is not sticking to the bottom, until the vegetables give up water and become tender, for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and taste for seasoning.
  3. Make the topping: Mash 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl. Add the panko, almonds and 1/2 cup Parmesan and stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. Add the pears to the turnip mixture. Grease the bottom and sides of a 3-quart gratin dish with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Spread the minced garlic on the bottom of the dish with the back of a spoon. Arrange half of the turnip mixture and cream evenly in the bottom of the gratin dish, pressing down to flatten the mixture. Top with the Gruyere and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Arrange the remaining turnip mixture evenly on top. Pour any leftover cream over the gratin. Cover the dish with a sheet of foil, crimping the edges, and place on a baking sheet so that no excess liquid will leak onto the floor of your oven and burn.
  5. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour. Carefully remove from the oven, take off the foil and return to the oven to cook until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
  6. Top the gratin with the panko-cheese mixture and bake until golden brown, about another 15 minutes. Remove and cool at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour before serving. 

Cook’s Note

These are two vegetables and one fruit that just don't get the same amount of love as more splashy items like potatoes, squashes, parsnips and apples. I love these three flavors together because they are all earthy, pleasantly sour and juicy. There is also something especially delicious about the lightness of the produce here meeting up with the richness of the cream and cheese. The almonds and breadcrumbs also give a great toasted-nut note and crunchy top.

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