Monday, December 10, 2012

sweet potato and radish gratin + braised mustard and radish greens

Radishes are a root vegetable that I had very limited experience with before signing up for a local farm delivery service. Radishes were something that I only ate raw, sliced in a salad or as part of a crudite plate. So not true any longer. I've now eaten multiple varieties of radish --  from globe to french breakfast, to daikon... and I've had them raw, pickled, roasted and, in this latest case, joined this giant variety with sweet potatoes/yams in an awfully tasty gratin.  I also used the radish greens, combined with the gorgeous purple mustard greens in my bushel to make a nice compliment of braised greens.

There is something pretty satisfying about using everything, and about making something new, fresh, and local.

I used the mandolin to thinly slice the sweet potatoes and radish.

Layer the potato and radish in a cast iron skillet.  Dot with butter, grate on some cheese.  I used an aged white cheddar.  Repeat with an additional layer of potatoes, radish and cheese.

Simmer some whole milk with minced shallot, garlic and a rosemary sprig or two.

After you've topped the second layer of potatoes and radish with cheese, pour the warmed milk mixture over the top and press down to compact.  Bake.

While your gratin bakes, braise your greens.

Once your gratin is cool enough to cut, serve up a slice, along side of the greens. It's really good stuff.

sweet potato and radish gratin + braised mustard and radish greens

2 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
1 bunch of extra large variety radish, thinly sliced
1 cup grated aged white cheddar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 T unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the skillet
2 cloves grated garlic
2 T minced shallot
freshly grated nutmeg
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter your cast iron skillet. Arrange half of the sweet potatoes mixed with half of the radish in the skillet.  Dot with butter, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of cheese.  Repeat with remaining potatoes, radish, butter and cheese.  While you prepare the skillet, bring the milk, shallot, garlic, nutmeg and rosemary sprigs to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 3-4 minutes.  Remove rosemary sprigs.  Pour milk mixture over potato, radish, cheese mixture and press to compact.  Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.  Remove foil.  If there is a lot of extra liquid, use a turkey baster to remove a bit.  Allow to bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is golden brown.  Cool slightly before serving.  Serve along side braised greens.

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