Cheesy Winter Vegetable Gratin
This gratin is vegetarian comfort food at its best. Soft, sweet, winter root vegetables are layered with a creamy, gluten-free white sauce, and topped with bubbling cheese, to create this deliciously clean, warm vegetable casserole. This clean-eating recipe is perfect as a main course on meat-free days, as a side dish, or sliced and packed up for work day lunches.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Using a food processor or a mandolin, finely slice all of the root vegetables. You want the vegetables to be wafer thin. If you don’t have a food processor or a mandolin, carefully slice the vegetables as thinly as you can with a knife. Set the vegetables to one side.
Make the sauce
- Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the peeled garlic cloves and simmer over a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Strain the milk into a jug and discard the garlic.
- Place the empty pan back on the hob and add the butter. When the butter has melted, stir in the gram flour.
- Slowly, a little at a time, pour the milk into the saucepan, incorporating the milk into the flour base as you do so. This is most easily done using a balloon whisk if you have one. When all of the milk has been returned to the pan, whisk to ensure no lumps remain. Bring the milk up to a boil, whisking continuously. When the sauce is boiling and thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Assemble the gratin
- In large casserole dish, start to layer the vegetables. Start with a layer of overlapping sweet potatoes. When this layer is completed, season the potato with salt and freshly ground pepper, then add 1 or 2 ladles of your sauce. Repeat this process with your swede, then carrots, parsnips and onions and finally sweet potato (approximately 4 layers).
- When all of your vegetables are layered, cover the top layer of sweet potato with grated cheese.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 90 minutes. The gratin is ready when you can slide a knife right through it to the base of the dish, without encountering any resistance from the vegetables.
- Cool slightly and then slice into portions.