Celery Root, Leek, & Potato Boulangère

My fall CSA share has seen a lot of potatoes, celery roots, and leeks. I’m running out of unique ways to cook with them. I’m in a rut with soups – didn’t I just make potato and celery root soup? I think so, but I can’t remember. I’ve had a falling out with curried vegetables. I haven’t even seen a single brussels sprout. And where the shit is the delicata squash? Though I did finally make it to the end of the butternut squash with this recipe. So with a bit of time to kill I decided to bust out my River Cottage Vegetable cookbook: a beauty in its own right with recipes that are mostly simple but interesting, and photogenic to boot.

I did an index search of potatoes and landed firmly in the comfort food section, loaded with heavy cream, butter, and cheese. Having just slogged through a major comfort food holiday I was in search of lighter fare, but something that would also be hearty enough to stand on its own, I didn’t want to mess around with side dishes or salads or what have you.

This dish falls somewhere between a quiche, a gratin, and a boulangère, which only apparently means ‘cooked with sliced onions in a casserole.’ So specific. Those French are really on top of their food naming game. Do leeks count as onions? I think so. Either way it sounds fancy as fuck and didn’t I impress you?

My only regret is that there is no cheese. I really should have asked my roommate to grab some when she went out to the bodega, inter-holiday dieting be damned! I invite you to layer this with lots and lots of cheese, and then top it with more cheese. Cheese it up, but then perhaps consider calling it a crustless quiche, because you’re on the cutting edge of gluten free cooking.

Celery Root, Leek, & Potato Boulangere

Celery Root, Leek, & Potato Boulangère

1 medium celery root, peeled
4 small-medium red potatoes
1 large leek, sliced and cleaned thoroughly
2 Tbsp butter, plus extra for dish
5 eggs
1 cup cream
1 cup vegetable stock
1 generous sprig thyme
salt + pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 325*F. In a medium sized pan over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add leeks to cook, stirring occasionally. You want the leeks to be fragrant and just barely translucent when you take them off the heat. While the leeks are cooking, rub a generous amount of butter on the bottom and sides of your casserole dish, making sure to get the corners.

Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice the celery root & potatoes, keeping them separate.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, vegetable stock, & thyme. Season this mixture generously.

Layer the bottom of the pan with celery root slices, top with the cooked leeks and then the potato slices. Pour the cream mixture slowly over the top, making sure it gets down to the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil & bake for 30 minutes. After the first 30 minutes is up, remove the foil and bake for another 60 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender.

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