Beet and Turnip Gratin
| Yield: 8 servings | Time: 1.5 hours |
9 tablespoons olive oil, divided (1 for the skillet, 8 for the sauce)
4 1/2 pounds mixed beets and turnips (I used red, gold and chioggia beets, you could also substitute potatoes and/or sweet potatoes for beets or turnips), peeled and sliced thin crosswise (I used a mandolin)
3/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil.
Working from the outside in, tile sliced beets and turnips in a rosette pattern. I started with red beets on the outer edge, then gold, turnips, and chioggia. If you don't want to fuss with all of that, just layer the vegetables.
Warm 3 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, stirring frequently (about 4 minutes). Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the remaining 5 tablespoons of oil. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour the olive oil-garlic mixture evenly over the prepared beets and turnips, then pour over the vegetable stock. Cover the skillet tightly with foil, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the top of the gratin is just starting to brown and get crispy (about 30 minutes). Let the gratin cool for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped chives just before serving.
Rebecca Shaefer is a professional chef who uses only locally sourced foods grown in her garden or near her home in Virginia.