- 1 lemon, halved
- 6 1/2 pounds celery root
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 4 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Squeeze the lemon into a large bowl of water. Peel the celery root and cut it into 1/2-inch dice, adding it to the bowl of lemon water as you go.
- Drain the celery root and add it to the boiling water. Boil until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and wipe out the pot.
- In the same large pot, melt the butter. Add the leeks, chopped thyme and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and simmer over moderately high heat, stirring, until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the celery root and cream and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup of the Parmesan and the parsley. Season with salt and black pepper. Transfer the mixture to two 10-by-15-inch baking dishes.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan over the gratins and bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges and golden brown on top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
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