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Three-Cheese Root Gratin

Servings: 6 to 8

The subtle, distinctive flavors of celery root, parsnips, and carrots, a rich cheese sauce, and a crunchy topping make this gratin a satisfying dish indeed. This is real comfort food.


  • 2-1/2 oz. (5 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 3 medium leeks (about 1-1/4 lb.), trimmed and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2 oz. (about 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 oz. Cheddar, coarsely grated (1-1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-1/2 lb. celery root (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 lb. parsnips (about 2 medium), peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 2 medium), peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 4 oz. Gruyère, coarsely grated (1-1/2 cups)
  • 4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about 1 cup on the small holes of a box grater)
  • 2 Tbs. plain panko or dried breadcrumbs

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 420
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 230
  • Fat (g): 26
  • Saturated Fat (g): 14
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 70
  • Sodium (mg): 780
  • Carbohydrates (g): 31
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Sugar (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 17


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 3-qt. gratin dish with 1 Tbs. of the butter.
  • In a medium skillet, heat the oil over low heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Melt the remaining 4 Tbs. butter in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and cook gently, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking well between each addition to break up any lumps. Once all the milk has been incorporated, increase the heat to medium high, and cook, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and using a wooden spoon, stir in the Cheddar until melted. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the nutmeg. Stir in the mustard. Remove from the heat, and then cover.
  • Fill a medium bowl with cold water, and add the lemon juice.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Peel and quarter the celery root. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, placing them in the lemon water to prevent them from discoloring.
  • Add the celery root to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Add the parsnips and carrots to the pot, cook for 3 minutes, then transfer to the towel-lined baking sheet. Put the celery root, parsnips, and carrots in a large bowl, and toss together.
  • Sprinkle half of the Gruyère evenly over the bottom of the prepared gratin dish. Top with half of the vegetables. Spoon over slightly less than half of the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and top with the leeks, spreading them in an even layer. Add the rest of the vegetables in an even layer, gently pressing down to create even layers, and pour over the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Gruyère. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and then the panko. Place the gratin dish on a large rimmed baking sheet, and bake until light golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest for at least 20 minutes, and then slice and serve.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • CE151 | 12/01/2019

    My husband spotted this recipe in the latest issue and brought it to my attention. It took me two days to prep all the vegetables, but I followed the recipe to the letter except for 2 C skim milk instead of 3 C whole and going with my favorite Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar for the Cheddar. Oh my, this is a dream of a dish, such great flavor in the celery root and the leeks blending with the 3-cheese sauce. This can easily serve up to 10 as a side and will make a wonderful addition to our dinner for a couple more nights. May have to try it with another comfort food in meatloaf, now that winter has arrived. Not a quick dish to prep, but wonderful flavors. Also worth keeping in the oven long enough to get the deep golden finish as seen in the photo.

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