Turnip and Potato Gratin

Fall  bounty abounds and from the earth comes the turnip.  A friend told me once that he heard that when God made the turnip, he looked at it and said “this is not right, I am going to bury it underground so hopefully no one will find it”.   Looks like burying it wasn’t enough, although many people wished the poor turnip would stay in the ground.

I always thought of the turnip as an old fashioned vegetable.  Only served by depression era grandparents.  The same grandparents who put it in any soup or stew they thought they could get away with.  As a child I didn’t care for turnips, actually I detested them.  They had this sharp overpowering flavor, too strong for my sensitive child taste buds.  Every Time my grandmother made soup or stew I was suddenly not hungry.  I didn’t eat another turnip until, well, until just recently when Sam brought a bunch to work and declared they were free for the taking.  If it’s free its for me!  I couldn’t resist free homegrown veggies.  It was time to give the maligned turnip another chance.

Not ready to go full on turnip, I went halfsie with potatoes and then smothered them in cream and Parmesan cheese, I dotted it with some pancetta and I just have to say ” Hallelujah”!  Welcome back to my life…

 Ingredients

 2 cups heavy cream

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 Tbs dried thyme

pinch of cayenne

Kosher salt

1/2 stick of butter

1 pound turnips, peeled and sliced very thin

1 pound red bliss potatoes, washed and sliced very thin

6 0z pancetta, diced

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan

Directions

Butter a 9 x 9 casserole pan

Smash and peel cloves.

Put cream, garlic and salt in a medium sauce pan (be careful with the salt since the Parmesan and pancetta are both salty).

Fry the pancetta until nice and crispy.

Add the thyme and cayenne to the cream.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a mandolin or food processor, thinly slice the turnips and potatoes.

Drain the pancetta and set aside.

 Please bear with me…I was losing light very quickly.  I prepped at my dining room table to squeeze the last little bit of light out, but I didn’t take a full array of photos.

Darn the fall, please don’t take my sunshine away!

Okay enough ranting and back to the job at hand.  Take one third of the turnips and potatoes and layer them in the pan.

Then take one third of the grated Parmesan cheese and pancetta, and layer on top of the potatoes and turnips.

Dot with one third of the butter. 

Continue with the remaining two thirds of the turnips, potatoes, cheese, gratin and butter.

Remove the garlic cloves from the cream mixture.

Pour the steeped cream over the layered turnip/potato mix.

 

 

 Cover with foil.  Bake in a preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

 

Remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes until golden.  When it’s finished a knife should slide in and out of the center of the dish easily.

Let the dish rest for approximately 10 minutes prior to serving.

Enjoy layer after layer of pure goodness.  I can’t tell you how great this dish is.  The salty pancetta and cream was a perfect compliment to the “sharp” taste of the turnip.  If you have a chance to score some turnips, you must make this dish, no question about it!

Turnip and Potato Gratin
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups heavy cream
  2. 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  3. 1 Tbs dried thyme
  4. pinch of cayenne
  5. Kosher salt
  6. 1/2 stick of butter
  7. 1 pound turnips, peeled and sliced very thin
  8. 1 pound red bliss potatoes, washed and sliced very thin
  9. 6 0z pancetta, diced
  10. 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
Instructions
  1. Butter a 9 x 9 casserole pan
  2. Smash and peel cloves.
  3. Put cream, garlic and salt in a medium sauce pan (be careful with the salt since the Parmesan and pancetta are both salty).
  4. Fry the pancetta until nice and crispy.
  5. Add the thyme and cayenne to the cream. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, using a mandolin or food processor, thinly slice the turnips and potatoes.
  7. Drain the pancetta and set aside.
  8. Then take one third of the grated Parmesan cheese and pancetta, and layer on top of the potatoes and turnips.
  9. Dot with one third of the butter.
  10. Continue with the remaining two thirds of the turnips, potatoes, cheese, gratin and butter.
  11. Remove the garlic cloves from the cream mixture.
  12. Pour the steeped cream over the layered turnip/potato mix.
  13. Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
  14. Remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes until golden. When it's finished a knife should slide in and out of the center of the dish easily.
  15. Let the dish rest for approximately 10 minutes prior to serving.
The Kitchen Witch http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/

 

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