← Back to Search Results
baking American, French, mediterranean
Root Vegetable Gratin Recipe-14595

Photo by: Leonardo Frusteri
Comments: 0


I started preparing this dish for guests about ten years ago, and now I cannot entertain in the fall or winter without a request for it. I’m happy to comply. Root Vegetable Gratin is now a selection on the holiday and winter catering menus at Gigi Market.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


Classic béchamel:

  • 6 cups whole or 2-percent milk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Root vegetable gratin:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups Classic Béchamel
  • 2 small smoked chiles, such as anchos or dried smoked jalapeños.
  • 3 medium russet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
  • 1½ cups fresh or canned roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium sweet potato (8 ounces), peeled and sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 small or ½ large rutabaga (about 12 ounces), peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds


For the Classic Béchamel:

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it is steaming hot (do not let it boil). Keep it at this temperature.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes; don’t let it brown. Whisk in the hot milk and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more.

For the Root Vegetable Gratin:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12- to 14-inch round baking dish or a 13 × 9-inch rectangular baking dish with the butter.

Pour the béchamel into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, add the whole dried chiles, and steep for about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the chiles.

Arrange half of the russet potato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with a third of the red pepper strips. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread 1½ cups of the béchamel evenly over the potatoes and red pepper strips. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheddar. Arrange the sweet potato slices on top, slightly overlapping, in a spiral pattern. Season with salt and pepper, and top with another third of the red pepper strips. Again top with 1½ cups béchamel followed by 1 cup cheddar. Add the slices of rutabaga, slightly overlapping in a spiral pattern, and strew with the remaining red pepper strips. Add 1½ cups béchamel followed by 1 cup cheddar. For the final layer, arrange the remaining slices of russet potato on top, slightly overlapping, in a spiral pattern. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the remaining 1½ cups béchamel and 1 cup cheddar on top.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1¼ hours. Remove the foil and bake until the top of the gratin is bubbly and nicely browned, about 20 minutes. A knife inserted in the center of the gratin should easily pierce the fully cooked, soft root vegetables. Serve piping hot.


• To lighten this dish, make a cornstarch/water slurry, stir it into chicken broth, and simmer until it achieves a béchamel-like consistency. Use in place of bechamel.

• Omit the chiles and/or roasted red bell pepper.

• Substitute turnips for the rutabaga.


Serving Suggestion: This is great right out of the oven, but it’s also good reheated the next day.

Nutrition: Roasted red pepper strips add flavor, color between the layers, and lots of vitamin C.

© 2009 Laura Pensiero

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 10 and includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.

525kcal (26%)
535mg (54%)
53mg (88%)
456mcg RAE (15%)
90mg (30%)
664mg (28%)
19g (94%)
30g (47%)
2mg (12%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
Free Activity Kit for Love Monster and the Last Chocolate!

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

hot-sour-salty-sweet Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
the-lee-bros-southern-cookbook-stories-and-recipes-for-southerners-and-would-be-southerners The Lee Bros. Southern Cook...
by Ted Lee, Matt Lee
the-deen-bros-take-it-easy-quick-and-affordable-meals-the-whole-family-will-love The Deen Bros. Take It Easy...
by Bobby Deen, Jamie Deen
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
the-new-basics-cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins, Julee Rosso
cooking-with-too-hot-tamales Cooking with Too Hot Tamales
by Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
baked-new-frontiers-in-baking Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?