So, as promised, we are getting into some serious Thanksgiving food this week. We will kick it off with this delicious side dish of winter root vegetables. I came up with this preparation because I was looking for a way to serve turnips that was appealing. Turnips have a serious sour note that I like, but some people are put off by. So here I paired them with equal amounts of sweet potatoes. The sweetness from the sweet potato offsets the sourness of the turnip. They match each other well. Plus the orange and white striped gratin makes for a neat presentation.
1 large sweet potato (the one I used was the size of my nephew)
3 large turnips
4 ounces of goat cheese (or any semi-soft cheese)
1/2 cup milk (or cream if you aren't scared)
1 palmful of fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
9x12 baking dish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel sweet potato. Using the mandolin, slice turnip and sweet potato 1/8 of an inch thick. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the bottom of the baking dish to keep things from sticking. Start layering in your root vegetables in a "fish scale" pattern. Do a layer of turnip and then a layer of potato until you have used all of your vegetables. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper in every other layer. The other ingredients go into a food processor and are blended until smooth. Pour mixture evenly over your root vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, drizzle with olive oil, and bake a few more minutes to get some color on top. The result is a creamy and delicious side dish that looks as good as it tastes.
We had it for dinner last night with porcini-dredged tofu and mushroom gravy.