November 09, 2007

Celeriac & Potato Gratin

1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large celeriac*, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/4 lb potato**, peeled and thinly sliced
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
shredded asagio, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375. In a small pot, bring the the cream, thyme and milk to a boil. Allow to cool (about 15 minutes) then strain. Discard the thyme. Stir in the nutmeg, green onions and salt/pepper to taste. Meanwhile, arrange the celeriac and potato slices in a lightly greased oven safe dish. Pour the milk mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle lightly with cheese. Cover and bake until the liquid is absorbed, about 40-45 minutes for a large dish, 20-25 for individual sized dishes, taking the cover off for the last 5 minute or so to brown the cheese. Serve hot.

*also known as celery root, it is large, warty and more than a little daunting looking. It smells and tastes faintly of celery.

**Or a little or more potato. I kept it pretty equal to the celeriac.

My thoughts:
First, I'd like to apologize that the picture for this isn't of the finished product, it came out great (and attractive) but it was so dark out I couldn't get a good shot. Anyway, I'd heard of celeriac before but I don't think I've ever actually eaten it until today. I actually had never noticed in the store until recently and thought I'd give it a chance. It is sort of intimidating looking but has a similar texture when raw to potato, so I just treated it as such. I liked it a lot, it made an ordinary gratin something special. I can't wait to use it in something else.

And if you aren't tired of voting: my green tomato chili recipe is up for a little prize on Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen. The voting is here. The prize is a fun one!