This recipes is adapted from my favorite cookbook, "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," by Deborah Madison.
Butter for the dish
Bechamel for Gratins (see recipe below)
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
1 Tablespoon butter
12 ounces yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into juilienne
12 ounces turnips, peeled and julienned
8 ounces carrots, peeled and julienned
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-quart gratin dish.
Cook the bechamel sauce (recipe below).
While the bechamel is cooking, cook the onions in the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, about 8 minutes.
Combine with the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to gratin dish.
Pour the bechamel sauce over the top, cover with bread crumbs and bake until bubbly and golden on top, about 45 minutes.
Aromatic Bechamel for Gratins2 cups milk
2 slices white or yellow onion
Aromatics: a few parsley sprigs, a few thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves plus 1 garlic clove, crushed -- (tie the aromatics in a cheesecloth or put loose in the pan)
4 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, slowly heat the milk with the onions, aromatics and garlic. When it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and set aside.
In another heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in the hot milk at once, including the aromatics. Cook until thickened, then reduce heat, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Check from time to time and stir to be sure the sauce does not scorch or cook too quickly. You want this to cook at a slow, easy simmer.
Discard the aromatics, season with salt and pepper. The bechamel is now ready to use!