CELERY ROOT AND SWEET POTATO GRATIN
Dishing Up Maryland:
by Lucie L. Snodgrass
Many root vegetables and winter squashes keep for months, so if you're fortunate enough to have a root cellar or a cool, dry storage area, you can stock up on a medley of vegetables that are the foundation of delicious winter stews and gratins like this one.
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 3 shallots, peeled and diced
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 3½ cups half-and-half
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 celery root (about 1 pound)
• 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
• 4 ounces Jarlsberg cheese, shredded (1 cup)
• 4 ounces medium cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
2. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour, cooking and stirring until the mixture is smooth and bubbling. Pour in the half-and-half, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Peel the celery root and the sweet potatoes with a knife or vegetable peeler. Rinse the vegetables under cold running water and pat them dry. Cut the vegetables into small cubes, about 1 inch across. Mix the vegetables together and put them into the buttered dish.
4. Pour the sauce over the vegetables. Mix the two cheeses together and sprinkle them over the sauce. Bake for 1 hour, until the sauce bubbles and is golden.