Winter makes me cook
The cold Canadian winter has made me want to cook. I’m learning to bake – again. I had stopped baking because I didn’t have the patience for the precision that baking seemed to require.
It’s not just baking though. I’m turning out incredible meal after incredible meal (she said modestly). In my family we rate meals by the number of groans and my output over the past couple of months has consistently a minimum of three groans which is pretty good.
My friends in France have some terrific dining experiences to look forward to.
Tonight I made a layered root vegetable scallop – in Canada we would call it a scallop. In France it’s more likely a gratin. Delicious! I actually had to call my friend Jesse Reed, a chef, to find out what to call it.
This is a very flexible dish. I served it with roast lamb but you could as easily serve it with roast beef or chicken or pork.
Winter Vegetable Scallop
Use the vegetables you have on hand – or buy the ones you like.
VEGETABLES any combination
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potato (Yam)
- Turnip (rutabaga)
HERB MIX to make about ½ cup when chopped
- Fresh Rosemary
- Fresh Thyme
- Fresh Parsley
- Salt and Pepper
- Chicken Broth – optional
- Heavy Cream – optional
This is a very free-form recipe. Make as much or as little as you
want. You could bake it in a large square or oblong casserole or in
Pre-heat oven to 325 F – 160 C – gas mark 3
- Choose a baking dish
- Butter it
- Chop the herb mixture finely
- Slice the vegetables and start layering them in the baking dish. I
find it easiest to slice as much as I need for one layer and then slice
more if I need a second layer. Easiest to slice using a mandoline.
- When you get to what will be the middle layer dot it with butter,
sprinkle half of the herb mixture on top, and salt and pepper to taste
- Add layers to the top of the dish – or as high as you want it.
- On the top sprinkle dot with more butter, sprinkle on the rest of the herb mixture, and season with salt and pepper.
- At this point you can cover it with aluminum foil and bake it as is
or you can add about ¼ cup of chicken broth or of heavy cream and then
cover and bake.
- Bake until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. It
takes about an hour in the dish I use but the time will depend on the
depth of your baking dish and the thickness of the vegetable slices.
If you want you can brown it under the broiler for a couple of minutes before serving.