After the Orange Almond Wholewheat cake, its time for some savoury bake today. Veg Au Gratin is a family favourite, which is so versatile that any veggies can be sneaked in for a whole dish. I made this for a party recently, and the kids and adults went gaga over it.
In the culinary arts, the term au gratin (pronounced "oh-GRAH-tan") refers to a dish that is baked with a topping of seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese. The au gratin topping should be golden brown, which can be achieved by baking or by placing the dish under a broiler (source:here).
So,basically any meat or veggies are sautéed and then baked under a silky creamy cheesy crust, grilled a bit. Au Gratins are generally cheese heavy and therefore laden with fat. However, we made clever substitutions with both the white sauce and used lesser cheese but loved it nevertheless
Baking Marathon Day 2 : Veg Au Gratin
Recipe type : Vegetable Bakes, Cuisine : French adaptation
Spice level : Medium. Serves : 4
Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time : 30 mins (varies from oven to oven)
What you need:
Vegetables (your choice):
- Squash / yellow pumpkin / Kaddu – 100 gms
- Potato – 1 large
- Baby corn – 4 to 5
- Carrots – 1 large
- Cauliflower – 10 florets (large)
- String beans (French beans) – a handful
Macaroni / or any other pasta – 50 gms (optional)
For the white sauce:
- Wholewheat flour – 3 TBSP
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Milk – 1 cup
- Salt and pepper - to taste
Olive oil – 3 tsp
Grated cheese – 1 cup
Grated cheese – 1 cup
The amount of butter in the white sauce, combined with any APF (maida) used will give out a softer buttery sheen on top. Also I did not use any butter or maida and used very little cheese for topping. You can adjust cheese , butter quantities as per your liking.
Phase 1 : Veggies & pasta Prep : Blanch the veggies (except pumpkin and potato) for 5- 8 mins in salted water, drain. Thinly slice the pumpkin using a mandolin (without skin) and place it on a greased tava- let it brown on both sides a bit. Cool. Similarly peel and place slices of potato for 8 – 10 mins (flipping them intermittently) till they slightly cook and brown at the edges. Cool. Also cook the pasta (or macaroni) as per packet instructions and drain.
Phase 2 : White sauce : In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil and roast wholewheat flour for 4- 5mins till nice aroma wafts out. To this add milk and quickly whisk on a low flame till no lumps are formed. Let it simmer for 2 mins, add salt and pepper and half the cheese. Add the cooked pasta, blanched veggies and let it cook for 3-4 mins till a nice gravy is formed.
Phase 3 : Assembling and baking : Preheat oven to 175 Deg C. Grease a bake dish, line with potato and pumpkin slices (reserving a few for topping), add a dash of spice (salt, pepper, red chilli flakes etc) and add the white sauce (with veggies) gravy onto it. Top with remaining potato and pumpkin slices, finish with grated cheese and bake covered (if oven is too hot) for 20-25 mins (oven times may vary). Broil for last 3 mins to get a crunchy / crispy golden top.
Serve hot with any salad or bread or just as a main course.