Root Vegetable Gratin

, from Issue #31. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Root Vegetable Gratin

Serves: 6


3 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic crushed
grating of nutmeg
1½ kilograms of any combination of the following: Agria potatoes, kumara, carrots, parsnips

To assemble
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

8 cup capacity baking dish


Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Vegetables: Place all the ingredients, except the vegetables, in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Peel and thinly slice the vegetables. A mandolin is ideal for this. Add
the vegetables to the stock, season well and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the baking dish then pour over the liquid. Combine the Parmesan and panko crumbs and scatter over the top. Dot with the butter and bake for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables are very tender and the top is golden. 
If the top is getting too brown, cover loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.

Panko crumbs: these flakey Japanese dried bread crumbs create a deliciously crunchy crust. They are readily available from Asian stores and good supermarkets.