This Holiday Root Vegetable Gratin Couldn't Be Creamier

David McCann layers root vegetables into this riff on a holiday classic.

Root Vegetable Gratin
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Thanksgiving demands the resolution of contradictory impulses. There’s the obligation to meet traditional expectations, but there’s also the urge to innovate and stave off food fatigue. This recipe for a three-root gratin fits both bills, delivering an expected dish of creamy layered potatoes reinvigorated by a hearty combination of rutabaga and celery root. We tend to relegate these vegetables to dead-of-winter cooking, considering them utility players, not stars. But this gratin will change your mind. Rutabaga and celery root bring an earthy depth and an engaging, subtle sweetness for a flavorful lift. Classic gratins lean on heaps of Gruyère; here, robust Parmesan cuts in with more intense flavor, accentuating the root vegetables instead of smothering them. The salty bite of the cheese, along with the brightness from the celery root, transforms what could be a stodgy side into a reimagined classic that will have you coming back for seconds.

Root vegetable gratin
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
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