I have been wanting to use Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) for a while now, and this was a great test run. Plus I love gratins… even more when it has a crispy crust on top and bubbles on the sides when you take it out of the oven. Mmmm…
Ok so I stopped at whole foods and went straight to the produce to look for these jewels and when I saw them, I did a mental “jack pot” and b-lined it to grab a bag. For those of you who don’t know what they look like here is a pic.
They’re a species of sunflower but are cultivated for their tubers, and used as root vegetables. Hence using it in a gratin. They have the texture of a potato and slice just as easy. *** If you’re going to slice them with a mandolin like I did, go for the bigger ones at the store. They’re easier to slice.
Sunchoke and Gruyere Gratin
- 1 lb sunchokes, sliced 1/4 inch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese
- Butter to grease dish
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large clove of garlic, made to paste
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
I started with the crispy topping that really makes and completes the dish. Panko bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, parmesan, butter…done. It helps if you can get some parsley from your own supply, in NOVEMBER might I add.
I finely chopped the parsley, made the garlic into a paste, and grated parmesan cheese.
In a non-stick pan I melted butter and toasted the panko bread crumbs until just golden. When it’s at that point, turn off heat and throw in parsley, parmesan, and garlic paste. Toss quickly while it’s still warm and be sure to blend ingredients evenly.
Put that in a bowl and set aside. Grate the gruyere and set that aside as well. I washed the sunchokes but left the skin on. I sliced them using a mandolin and made a quick job of it. I buttered the baking dish I was using, and then I was ready to layer. Each layer took salt, but only every other layer took pepper and gruyere cheese.
On the last layer, sprinkle salt pepper and cheese on top. Pour heavy cream on the sides and center. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Then take it out, sprinkle the panko mixture on top, and bake for another 25 minutes without any cover.
It was really good and I would definitely make it again. It also went great as a side to the pork roast I made. Here is a preview to the next post:
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