Friday, October 19, 2007

Scalloped Root Vegetables

I had set aside a fresh beet and a sweet potato for making chips (crisps, for my international friends). I've been keen to try out Giada's recipe--they look so delicious!

But disaster struck. I couldn't get the beets to slice thin enough.

Now, the slicer I do have is from a hideous plastic microwave potato-chip maker my grandmother gave me a number of years ago. I have no idea where the rest of the thing went, but I have used the slicer quite a bit over the years. In fact, it does a wonderful job of making paper-thin cucumber slices. So I have no idea why it cut the beet and sweet potato rather thickly. Perhaps because they were both so tough that I wasn't fast enough? Hmm...

(Is that reason enough to justify buying a mandoline?)

1/16" thick is relatively thin, but not thin enough for chips.

So I decided to add a white potato to the bowl of beet and sweet potato slices for added variety, and make a version of scalloped potatoes.

This was a really interesting experiment. The beet flavor was certainly wonderful paired with sweet potato--and the entire business was tinged with oranges and red. Like a sunset in a dish.

It would pair well with a strongly-flavored meat dish, and perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Scalloped Root Vegetables

1 medium beet, peeled and sliced thin
1 medium potato, peeled and sliced thin
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup flour (I used oat bran flour)
2 tablespoons butter, cut in small chunks

Grease a glass or ceramic pie plate or loaf pan with olive oil. Layer beet and potato slices however desired. Because I had more sweet potato slices than anything else, I started with a layer of sweet, then white, then sweet, then beet, then sweet, white and finished with sweet. I gave the top a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper--about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and flour. Pour over sliced vegetables in dish. Top with butter chunks. Top with foil and bake at 350*F for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated and top is browned.

Serve hot.



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