Since Tuesday the skies have been gray. There has been sleet followed by rain—lots of it—now capped by a bit of snow. I’m not complaining, mind you, especially when I consider what we might have had—an ice storm that could have knocked out our power for days or more. Then I think of the deluge the West Coast is dealing with, the floods and the landslides, all just before the holidays.
But it would be nice to see blue sky and sun. It would be nice to not have another storm until after the New Year. It would be nice to have bare roads for the holidays. All right. Maybe I am complaining. Just a little.
On a more positive note…I made a beet gratin last night from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I’ve been wanting to make this gratin for a while, but I was afraid Clif wouldn’t like it, and we would be left high and dry for our supper. But Farmer Kev keeps bringing us beets, and it was time to do something with them.
Bittman suggesting cooking the beets whole in a covered roasting pan in a 350 degree oven, and that’s just what I did. It took a long time—almost an hour—for the beets to cook, but there was no fuss and little mess. (The beets were scrubbed but not peeled.)
When the beets were done, I let them cool and cut them into slices, which I then arrayed in the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish. I sprinkled salt, pepper, and dried thyme on the beets. Then I crumbled an eight-ounce log of goat cheese on top and covered the whole thing with fresh bread crumbs—I used three slices of homemade bread.
Bittman suggested broiling the gratin until the crumbs were brown and the cheese was melted. I followed his advice, but unfortunately the top became too brown before the beets were heated through.
However, the overall taste more than made up for the lukewarm dish. The tangy cheese was a perfect compliment to the sweet beets, and the overall effect could even be called elegant.
“Pretty darned good,” Clif said, going back for seconds.
I nodded, relieved we wouldn’t have to resort to scrambled eggs and toast.
“But you might want to bake it next time rather than just broil it,” Clif added. “If need be, you can broil it a little at the end.”
I agreed, and next time I make beet gratin, I will bake it so that everything is piping hot.
Still, I was pretty pleased with the way the dish turned out, especially after such a long, gray week.