Vegetable Au Gratin

Vegetable Au Gratin 1

Au Gratin is a French Style of cooking where casseroles are topped with bread crumbs & butter, & are allowed to brown under a broiler to give a crunch. Sometimes cheese is sprinkled  which melts & gets crispy under the broiler, but is not a requirement. “The etymology of gratin is from the French language in which the word “gratter” meaning to “to scrape” as of the “scrapings” of bread or cheese, and gratiné, from the transitive verb form of the word for crust” (WIKI). Au Gratins are baked/broiled in the oven & then served in a (usually Oval) baking dish. I did not use an Au Gratin dish as you can see… my dish is as square as it can be. So I really do not know if it would have tasted any different in an Oval Au Gratin dish.

In this recipe I have baked the Vegetables in a creamy Béchamel or White Sauce, topped with a layer of mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs & cheese. Béchamel, is used in a variety of dishes and is the base for many sauces. It is made by adding milk to Roux (a mixture of flour & butter). This Au Gratin has become a family favorite (initially introduced by my husband )- even my little one who is an extremely picky eater, eats this with a lot of enthusiam.

There are a different ways you could make an Au Gratin, with different vegetables, meat & seafood. Here I am presenting the way we made it for lunch today. Do try out different vegetable combinations & sauce bases.

Here is a Veg. Au Gratin, our Family Style…

Ingredients: (Serves about 4 )

  1. 4 Cups of vegetables Chopped into small pieces (Example: Peas, Carrots, Green Beans, Corn, Cauliflower, Bell Peppers/Capsicums)
  2. 1/2 Medium sized Onion Chopped into small pieces
  3. 3 Large Potatoes Peeled & Boiled.
  4. 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
  5. 1 Cup Grated Cheese (we used Pepper Jack)
  6. 2  Tablepoons Butter
  7. Salt
  8. 1 Tomato Chopped (Optional)

Note: Some other wonderful vegetables to add are Artichokes, Asparagus, Fennel & Leek. Please use any combination of vegetables you want. I wrote down only what we used this time.

Small cooked pastas may also be added to the vegetables in the sauce…. & baked using the same procedure as below.

For the Sauce:

  1. 3 Tbsp. Butter
  2. 4-5 Tbsp. Flour
  3. 1- 1.5 Cups Milk
  4. Salt
  5. Freshly Ground White/Black Pepper

Preparation:

To prepare the veggies:

Boil/Steam all the vegetables till tender. There should be no runny water. Set aside.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon of butter, & add the chopped onions & saute till soft & transluscent. Stir in the Vegetables & add salt, toss to combine & switch off the heat.

Mash the boiled potatotes with Salt & Pepper & set aside.

To Prepare the Sauce:


In heavy pan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in flour with a wire whisk. Cook over low heat for three to five minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let it brown. This mixture is called a roux.  Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly. Cook over low heat for 3-5 more minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Season with salt & pepper .

To Assemble & Bake/Broil:

Add the White Sauce & the prepared Vegetables & stir them to thoroughly combine. Do not mash them.

Lightly grease the bottom of a casserole or a baking dish.

Place the vegetables with the sauce on the greased dish.

Place the mashed potatoes in an even layer over the vegetables.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly on the mashed potatoes. Add the rest of the butter in dots over the bread crumb.

Sprinkle the grated cheese in an even layer over the crumbs.

Add the chopped tomatoes on the cheese (this is an optional step- I add these to add some color to the dish & we also like the taste & tang of the slightly grilled tomatoes).

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the dish in the oven & bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. you will see the little bubbles of the sauce from the side.The sauce & the vegetables kind of sets as the water dries up. The cheese will melt and start browing along with the crumbs.

Set the oven to broil. Broil for a couple of minutes. Let the top brown ( if you have noticed, we did not let ours get dark. The cheese was crisp & we did not want it browned futher).

Please feel free to bake & broil it to your taste… but do not let it burn. It soons turns from light brown to black at the Broil mode.
Vegetable Au Gratin 3

Serve with rolls or garlic bread. Top it off a fresh grind of black pepper if you want. Enjoy!
Vegetable Au Gratin 2

We all loved it. I had doubts about my little one.. but surprisingly she was the one who enjoyed it most. The dish was all wiped clean:-)
Sending these to DK of Culinary Bazaar for her event A.W.E.D.-French Cuisine this month.


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40 comments to Vegetable Au Gratin

  • Love Gratin of all kind..its so flavorful..Yous look so perfect Soma.I feel like scopping a spoon outa it..:)

    Thanks Varsha!

  • I adore Gratin, veggie or meat based, I enjoy it all but what I noticed was the dish you are using, is that corning ware< it reminds me of when I was a child and my mum would use it?

    That dish is my mom’s !! Few of which I inherited & saved!!

  • mohana

    Au Gratin ! Sounds fabulous ! As usual, a wonderful recipie !!

    Thank u thank you:-)

  • I usually only make potatoes au gratin. What a great idea to use other veggies with this preparation. Sounds so yummy!

    & I have never made only potatoes!! should try that soemtimes..

  • wow…thats superb…i have been wanting to get the recipe of gratin for so long..shall try urs for sure…

    Thanks Divz!

  • I like your fork and spoon! Nice setting, Soma – you are getting lovely pictures in all your posts. I love au gratins too, and I do miss the cheese! I think I will make an au gratin too for AWED, and I promise I will say I took the idea from yours as I really cannot think of any French dish at the moment!

    Thanks Harini!! “Au Gratin”, “bon jour” & “French” is all I can say in “French” :-) How sad is that.
    Will wait to see your Au Gratin!
    as for the pictures, got me some colored tissues.. can u see? :-)

  • your veg au gratin looks great and i feel like tasting it… must be good with the cheese on top.

    Thanks Mahimaa.. Come over, I’ll make some for u:-)

  • Very bright and yum presentation.

    Thanks Lubna!

  • Iam a big fan of augratin your s looks so yummy nice recipe

    Thank you rekha!

  • hi soma, looks great.hope it tasted good…neat presentation..Do visit my blog at ur free time..:)Thankx in advance..

    Thanks Chitra.. It did taste good:-)

  • After trying Au Gratin a couple of times … both times at 5 stars … I gave up trying it. I always found them watery with some half dead veggies lying about …. and half heartedly made. Yours looks so delicious and perfect Soma.
    And warm snaps I must say. :-)

    Sharmila.. try to steam the veggies instead of boiling in water… also the sauce cannot be runny.. & the rest of the water needs to dry off during baking..

  • This looks mucho delicious and you’ve triggered fond food memories.My mom had a Corelle casserole like this!

    Now with all that talk about that Corelle Dish.. I had been using this for SO long now that i forgot really for how many years it has been with me!

  • thnks for the detailed recipe,..will try this soon,..

    Thanks Priyanka!

  • I made a similar Gratin too in oval if I might add! ;D

    Tastes and looks so good there, regardless of how you bake it, oval or square dish! :) )

    Thanks for letting me know that they taste the same in the square & the oval:-)

  • Beautiful framing of the photos Soma! Love the background color you choose, the photos in each post are getting higher on the gorgeous scale :)
    I like how you saved the tomatoes for the last, will surely give this a try, perfect for the fridge clean up day too I guess :) )

    Thanks! U among the few others are my inspiration for photographs!
    Priya I got myself some colored papers:-) & I love that green, makes me think spring & summer:-). I do not like the bland color of the grilled cheese, so i put the tomato for myself.. .lol I am sure the real gratins do nothing like that.. but its all about what you want to eat right?

  • Hi Soma!

    Love Gratin dishes, here are very common because we’ve a great influence of French cuisine.
    Your veggies looks fabulous definitely to enjoy with garlic bread :)
    Cheers,
    Gera

    Thanks Gera!! I do not have much idea about French Cuisine…. need to explore more.

  • Ann

    I make gratin often..Yours look perfect and the presentation is awesome dear.

    Thanks Ann!

  • Gorgeous photos. The dish looks lovely and I am sure tastes even better.

    Thank you!

  • Love Gatin..It is so flavourful and yumm..Looks lovely..Want a spoon full of that now…:-)

    Thanks Ashwini!

  • Wonderful presentation and stunning pictures. I love this vegetable au gratin..It looks delicious

    Thank you Madhumathi!

  • You have presented it so well ! Looks very tasty.

    Thanks Maya :-)

  • Cham

    The bowl doesn’t matter, I have eaten in France gratin regardless of shape of the bowl! This one is simply gorgeous!

    Thanks Cham!! I would be really upset if the Gratins in oval bowl tasted better:-)

  • I love such casseroles,looks creamy and delicious with potatoes:)

    We loved it too:-)

  • I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove au gratin! Yours looks pretty with the tomatoes on top.

    Thanks a lot!! Those tomatoes are meant to look pretty.

  • A&N

    I love baking so I should so try this!

    I am not much in to baking… this takes only “little effort” baking:-)

  • Superbly presented awesome dish…but My My…the dishes u make are getting more and more tougher for me to remember(the names i mean…..lolz)
    from the ingredients and procedure,it do sound some rich,flavorful stuff ,so i am sure u guys had a nice time enjoying it :-)

    He he Alka.. What is in a name? As long as it tastes good:-).. its a good way to eat some veggies. LOL

  • Oh my, look absolutely gorgeous and I am sure it was delicious as well.
    Cheers,
    Elra

    Thanks Elra!

  • Looks awesome! Colourful and yummy!

  • That’s a very descriptive and informative post Soma. I’ve not baked au-gratins before. It looks very appetizing.

    Thanks Madhuram!

  • Great presentation Soma and the pictures look beautiful. We have a pepper mill very similar to yours (different shade of color). The Vegetable Au Gratin looks awesome.

    Thanks Supriya! That pepper mill had been my friend for many years now:-) & yes I see it everywhere.

  • Uma

    To be frank, I never eaten au gratin before :( Nice tempting pictures. Looks so mouth-watering.

    LOL, Uma.. this is something I learnt from my husband, after i got married. Thank you.

  • Looks so mouth watering! Love the tomatoes on top, gives it a nice colour.

    Thanks !

  • I really like the lighting in this photograph.

    Thanks Cynthia! I got lucky with a bright sunny day!

  • sandeepa

    Looks lovely and that green is so pretty

    Thanks Sandeepa. Of all the tissues I got, this is my favorite!

  • I love gratin, gorgeous n delicious gratin…one of the healthy way of having veggies na!!!Lovely click dear!!

    Thank you dear Priya:-)

  • I am a big Gratin fan……..the pic is adorable and I am sure it must have tasted good as well

  • I would love to try this, looks gorgeous and inviting ! Great pictures as usual !

  • DK

    For someone who self confesses to know only “French” and “Bonjour” in french, you sure seem to have cooked up a french storm. Looks amazing and appetizing. Thanks for sending this my way for AWED France :)

  • That gratin looks really good!

  • Fatema

    Soma,

    Thank you..Khub bhalo hoye chilo and kids loved it, too…….

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