I didn't get a great photo of this dish because we ate it too fast! But believe me, it was absolutely delicious. I adore root vegetables, and this is a great new way to prepare them that I'd never used before. Thin slices of three different root veggies bake together with chicken broth and cream. Crispy panko on top provides textural contrast with a toasty crunch. Amazing! I served this as a main dish with a big salad on the side, and it was perfect for six. You could also serve it as a side dish for more...maybe at Thanksgiving? In the future, I also think it might be fun to change up the root veggies a bit - pretty much any of them would probably be really tasty! You could also dress this up with a bit of browned, crumbled sweet Italian sausage sprinkled between the layers.
Root Vegetable Gratin (adapted from Food and Wine)
2 large sweet potatoes
1 butternut squash (2 1/4 pounds)
1 medium rutabaga (2 pounds)
Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel all the veggies and cut them into pieces just small enough to fit through the feed tube of a food processor. Slice all the vegetables using the food processor into slices about 1/8-inch thick. You can also use a mandoline to slice the vegetables.
2. Spray an 8x12 baking dish with oil. (I used two smaller dishes to make one of them vegetarian with veggie broth - still really delicious!) Layer the vegetables into the dish: place a single layer of potatoes in the dish, overlapping them just slightly, and then season with salt and pepper. D the same thing with the rutabaga and then the squash, continuing until you run out of veggies (you might not end up with an even number of layers of each vegetable). Make sure the season with salt and pepper between each layer.
3. Pour the broth over and around the vegetables. Cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour, until the vegetables are almost tender. Remove the foil and pour the cream over the gratin. Bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the liquid and thickened slightly.
4. Preheat the broiler. Mix the panko with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the gratin. Broil for about 2 minutes, until golden brown and toasty. Let the gratin stand for ten minutes before serving.