After my first veg box arrived, I decided to start with the veg I liked the least – the dreaded turnips. When I searched the Internet for turnip recipes, the one that kept coming up was for Root Veg Gratin. All the gratin recipes were practically the same with variations on the types of veg and cheese used.
How to Make a Root Veg Gratin
The dish is layered lasagna style with alternating layers of root vegetables and cheese and onion. It’s really easy to do and doesn’t take long to prepare.
The first step is a lot of chopping
Select three of four different kinds of root vegetables and cut them in thin slices about 3mm wide.
Many recipes said to use 1kg of veg, but I just used the amount I had, made up of turnips, celeriac and potatoes. I peeled the turnips and celeriac first, but left the potato skins on.
While you are chopping heat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F, Gas Mark 4).
Next, chop your onions and cheese
I used crumbly goats cheese, but you can use any cheese you like that melts well. The stronger cheeses will give the dish more flavour, such a a good strong cheddar.
Now layer it up
Start with a layer of root vegetables. It’s up to you whether you have a complete layer of one type of veg or vary the veg. I varied the veg in my layers. Then scatter some chopped onion and cheese over the veg layer. Repeat this until you have run out of ingredients.
And top it off
When the layering is complete, a mixture of cream (142ml pot) and milk (150ml) is poured slowly over the top to sink in down through the layers. To finish, you top the dish off with more cheese, little knobs of butter and nutmeg. Easy!
Cook for an hour at 180 degrees C
After about 20 minutes at 180 degrees, there was a surprisingly enticing smell coming from the oven, but I had to wait for the full hour to be up (or until the top was golden). And I still wasn’t sure about those turnips . . .
The Taste Test
Well, it smelt good and it looked good, and it tasted delicious! That was unexpected.
Each slice of veg was nicely al denté and held a subtle flavour. The celeriac, which I’d never tasted before, had a hint of celery and wasn’t overpowering at all. The turnip was hard to describe, but nice! I guess I just don’t like it in chunky stews.
And the mark of a new recipe is this: would I have this root veg gratin again? Yes!
Veg Boxes Are Good For Breaking Habits
So far I think that having a veg box is a very good thing. It’s easy to get into the habit of eating the same things and by having a veg box I’m definitely getting more variety in my diet – and I’m getting to try things I never would have chosen to.