Root Vegetables å la créme

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Rich and satisfying, this dish could be an entree by itself.  In this version, I used rutabaga, celeriac, and radishes.  Many roots could shine here, although keep in mind that some will require longer (and some less) time with heat.

Prep time:  30 minutes
Cook time:  30 minutes
Serves:  4-6

2 cups rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ dice.
2 cups celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ dice.
2 cups radishes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2″ dice.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons whole wheat or white flour
2 tablespoons cream (heavy or light, your choice)

In a large stock pot, bring a gallon or more of water to a boil and blanch the rutabaga and celeriac for 5 minutes.  Drain, and return the vegetables to the stock pot, or a saute pan, along with the radishes, 2 tablespoons of the butter, the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1 cup water.  Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the roots are tender.

Meanwhile, make the bechamel.  Heat the milk to hot but not boiling (a few minutes in a saucepan over medium heat, or 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave).  Set aside, and melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir in the flower.  Cook, stirring, for a minute or two.  Stir in the milk, and cook, stirring, for a few minutes as the sauce thickens.  Turn off the heat.

When the vegetables are done, stir in the bechamel and the cream.  Distribute to ramekins or small bowls for serving, and enjoy hot.

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