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Rainbow Root-Vegetable Gratin

The vegetables in this gratin are interchangeable. If you like, use Jerusalem artichokes or parsnips and Yukon Gold potatoes instead of purple potatoes. The one constant is the beets. Red ones will stain the whole gratin pink but can be used if desired. Thin slices are the key to a great gratin: For ease of preparation, it’s best to use a mandoline for this recipe.


1 lb (500 g) white turnips
1 lb (500 g) purple potatoes
1 lb (500 g) multicoloured carrots (preferably thick ones)
12 oz (375 g) yellow beets
1 bulb fennel, trimmed
¼ cup (60 mL) butter, divided
2 cups (500 mL) chopped onion
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped garlic
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped thyme
2 cups (500 mL) crumbled goat cheese
1 cup (250 mL) 35% whipping cream
½ cup (125 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) grated white cheddar cheese
1 cup (250 mL) grated pecorino or Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Carefully slice turnips, potatoes, carrots, beets and fennel using the thinnest mandoline setting. Cut carrots on a 45-degree angle to get longer pieces.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch lightest coloured vegetables first. Blanch turnip for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Repeat with remaining vegetables, blanching fennel for 1 minute, yellow beets for 4 minutes, carrots for 2 minutes and purple potatoes for 2 minutes.
  3. Melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté́ for about 2 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and thyme, and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese. Set aside.
  4. Combine cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and just bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Combine cheddar and pecorino in a small bowl.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  6. Butter eight 1-cup (250 mL) ramekins or one 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) gratin dish. Layer vegetables, adding about ½ cup (125 mL) of goat cheese mixture to each layer and seasoning with salt and pepper. Fill to the top with vegetables, finishing with a layer of beets.
  7. Pour hot cream mixture over ramekins or gratin dish, and top with cheese mixture. Dot with remaining butter. Bake ramekins for about 35 minutes or gratin dish for about 45 minutes, until vegetables are soft and mixture is bubbling.
Serves 8


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