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Carrot and Sharp Cheddar Gratin

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Serves 8 to 10

  • by Liz Pearson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 120

This gratin is made a little differently from the others—the carrots are parcooked in the cream, adding an extra infusion of flavor.

  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more at room temperature for the dish
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-in. dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain panko
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 lb. large carrots (about 12), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
  • 4 oz. coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 cup)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13-in. (or similar) baking dish. In a 12-in. skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spatula, until golden-brown, 7 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and pour into a medium bowl. Add the panko, parsley, and thyme and toss well.

Whisk the heavy cream, mustard, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4  tsp. pepper into the onion, scraping up any browned bits, and then stir in the carrots. Bring just to a boil, cover, lower the heat to medium low, and simmer until the carrots are crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Spread the carrot mixture evenly in the prepared dish. Scatter the Cheddar over the carrots, top with the panko mixture, and bake until the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork and the crumbs are golden-brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 10; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 18; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 450; Cholesterol (mg): 50; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent dish. Easy to make. Everyone asks for the recipe!

I loved this! Cut the carrots a little larger and still didn't need 30 min in the oven, more like 20. Next time I'll try adding chicken broth, or using a smaller pan to initially cook them so the cream doesn't cook up so fast. Yummy!

Certainly a different way to present carrots. Very rich, but went well with a holiday meal.

This was very good. I unknowingly served it to someone who 'hates cooked carrots' and she loved it as did my other guest. I made half of the recipe. My only issue was with the cream...it seemed like there wasn't enough and it boiled immediately over the onions. I just added more and it turned out great. I also used smaller carrots.

Delicious! Definitely "make again" Didn't change a thing, but I think it could still turn out great subbing half milk or broth (as suggested by another reviewer) and not lose anything.

I have many carrots still in the garden. I tried this last week and was delighted how good this is. My husband is not a cooked carrot kind of guy and he loved it. I cut the recipe in 1/2 and added a 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the whipping cream. I highly recommend this recipe!

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