Layer upon layer of rich flavor

Times Staff Writer

PARSNIP and celery root are layered with nutmeg-laced cream and two kinds of cheese for this luscious gratin created by Cut chef de cuisine Ari Rosenson.

Food editor Leslie Brenner said that on a recent visit she kept coming back to this dish again and again. “Even with all those New York steaks and Wagyu on the table, this rich gratin, with its wonderful flavor of celery root, was irresistible.”

Celery root and parsnip gratin

Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes


Servings: 8

Note: From chef Ari Rosenson of Cut in Beverly Hills. This recipe calls for a 9-inch gratin dish or deep dish pie plate.

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots


1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons salt


1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 pinch nutmeg

2 large celery root (about 2 1/2 pounds total)

2 to 3 parsnips (about 1 pound total)


1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, divided

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Fontina cheese

2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs


1. Melt the butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sweat them until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove from heat to steep while you prepare the vegetables.

2. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel and very thinly slice the celery roots and parsnips (about one-eighth inch thick), either using a mandoline or by hand. In a 9-inch gratin dish or deep dish pie plate, spread one-third cup creme fraiche. Add a layer of parsnips, then a layer of celery root, then spoon over about 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture. Repeat the process until the last layer reaches the top of the dish.

3. Cut a piece of parchment the same size as the top of the gratin dish or pie plate, lay it over the top layer, then cover the dish with aluminum foil, sealing around the edges. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Top the gratin with the remaining 2 tablespoons creme fraiche spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle on the cheeses and bread crumbs. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the gratin is nicely browned. Serve hot.

Each serving: 243 calories; 6 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 15 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 45 mg. cholesterol; 803 mg. sodium.