The perfect bake for this holiday season – Vegetable Au Gratin. An indulgent feast, with delicious, roasted vegetables dunked in a luxurious Bechamel sauce. A perfect and quick meal option, especially if you are hosting.
This Vegetable Au Gratin is made in three parts:
- Part 1 – The vegetables are blanched
- Part 2 – The Bechamel sauce is made
- Part 3 – Everything is baked with cheese and bread crumbs
All these three steps are crucial and need to be done right to get the perfect Vegetable Au Gratin. Let’s go through them.
Blanching the Vegetables
We use both hard and soft vegetables for this recipe, so the order in which they are boiled greatly matter. The vegetables need to have a crunch in the final recipe, which is why the timing is so important.
We start with boiling the hardy vegetables, which is the potato and the carrot. Each of them go one after the other into the boiling water, with a gap of three minutes. Next, we blanch the cauliflower florets and the beans for another two minutes. the last addition is fresh green peas, which is blanched for last one minute.
For even cooking, it is crucial to cut all vegetables into similar sizes. We have cut them into 1/2 inch cubes and pieces. Once the blanching is done, strain the vegetables and set them aside.
Making the Bechamel Sauce
Bechamel sauce is a thick white sauce made with milk, butter, flour and a few spices and herbs. It is the heart and soul of this Au Gratin and needs to be done right for the perfect creaminess and texture.
The ratio of milk to flour defines a good Bechamel sauce. The ratio is 3:1 where 1/3 cup of flour is used for every 3 cups of milk. It’s important to cook the flour in the butter well. The rawness needs to fade and the temperature needs to be optimal to prevent the butter or flour from burning. I suggest you keep the flame at low to acquire those even flavours.
Once the flour gets cooked in the butter, whisking in the milk, little by little, will define the thickness of the sauce. Continuous whisking is essential to prevent any lumps.
The last step is to add a little bit of cream to take the sauce to a whole new level. Season it right and this sauce will add that magic to the final dish.
Let’s take a look at the recipe:
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 4
- 1 cup potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup green peas
For the Bechamel sauce:
- 50 g butter
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour (maida)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 tsp dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp salt (adjust as per taste)
- 1/2 tsp freshly crushed black pepper powder
- 1/4 cup cream
- 80 g grated cheese
- 3 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
- Heat water in a wide-mouthed pot. Add enough salt in it for the water to be saline.
- Once the salt is well dissolved in the water, add the cubed potatoes and let it boil for three minutes.
- Next, add the carrots and boil for another three minutes.
- Cauliflower florets and beans go next – boil for 2 more minutes.
- Lastly, add the peas and boil for one last minute.
- Strain the vegetables and set aside.
- Add butter in a skillet and let it melt. Keep the flame at low to prevent the butter from burning.
- Add the minced garlic and saute for a few seconds till rawness disappears.
- Next, add the flour and whisk till the rawness of the flour fades and it acquires a nutty aroma.
- Add whole milk in three batches, whisking throughout the process to prevent lumps.
- Keep the flame at medium to low and keep whisking.
- Season with salt, black pepper powder and dried rosemary leaves.
- Once thick, add the cream and whisk for another 10 seconds and turn off the flame.
- Your Bechamel sauce is ready. Save half of it and add the blanched vegetables to the other half. Mix well.
- Transfer vegetables in sauce to a baking dish. Pour the remaining Bechamel sauce on top and spread it out.
- Garnish with grated processed cheese and Panko bread crumbs.
- Bake at 200 degrees in an oven for 30 minutes.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy with toasted bread or as it is.
I hope you try this delicious and Vegetable Au Gratin soon. If you have any doubts, comments, or feedback, please reach out to me in comments or my social media handles.
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