Anyone else sick of winter? Wishing spring would get its ass in gear and just show up already? I feel ya. Earlier today I heard a rumor that the east coast of the U.S. is about to get another snow storm. Am I the only one horrified by this? I don't even live on the east coast, and I still want to puke.
In an attempt to restore balance, I thought I'd bring you something warm and rich today. Something that just screams comfort, since we all seem to be hanging on by the barest of threads in this ceaseless cold, snow, and rain (If it happens to be warm where you are, I don't even want to hear about it.)
I know you're probably not thrilled with the idea of yet another dish centered around root vegetables, but since I'm losing faith in the actual existence of the sun, the goal now is to transform the only produce around into something new and exciting. How, you ask?
If you're allergic to or afraid of dairy, this dish is not for you. If you're counting calories in anticipation of swim suit season, you should immediately avert your gaze. If, though, you're sick and tired of this endless winter and want to indulge in some true comfort food... we're talkin', snuggle-up-and-cuddle kind of comfort food, then you, my friend, should drag that booty into the kitchen and get to slicin' up some roots.
I don't think it's much of an accident that winter root vegetables look all gnarled and rough. They're just a product of this season. I'll be feeling a bit gnarly and rough around the edges myself by the time spring finally rolls around. People keep telling me they can't wait for the weather to break, but I'm pretty sure it's already broken. Badly, badly damaged and dysfunctional.
And that, folks, is what has inspired this dish...
Endless Winter Root Vegetable Gratin
1/4 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 medium, red-skinned potato, sliced 1/8" thick
1 medium turnip, sliced 1/8" thick
1 small celeriac, sliced 1/8" thick
1/3 C. dry white wine
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 C. half and half
3/4 + 1/3 C. manchego cheese, shredded, separated (just over 1/4 lb.)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 slice gluten-free bread, made into fresh bread crumbs (just pulse in the food processor)
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the mushrooms and the shallots, and cook until the mushrooms are beginning to brown.
- Add the sliced root vegetables and the wine. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the garlic, half and half, and 3/4 C. of the shredded cheese. Cover and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Divide the vegetables and mushrooms into 2 lightly greased 2 C. baking dishes. Pour any remaining cheese sauce from the pan over the veggies in each dish. Divide the bread crumbs and remaining 1/3 C. cheese over each.
- Bake at 350 F. for approximately 30 minutes, or until the tops are a deep, golden brown. Serve.
I hope this warms you up and helps chase away those endless winter blues. Happy (almost) spring, everyone.