Parmesan Crusted Potato Turnip Gratin
This Parmesan Crusted Potato Turnip Gratin is a new twist on an old favorite. My mom, sister-in-law and I have been making some version of this Upper Crust Potato recipe from The New Basics Cookbook for about 25 years and it is THE best potato gratin that we know. The inside is made with cream cheese, which results in the smoothest, uber-creamy filling you can imagine, while the top is sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs to create the “Upper Crust” that the Silver Palate girls named this recipe for. After all these years, the jury is still out deciding which is the better feature.
Pictured above are all the ingredients that you will need to make this new twist on potato gratin. If you’re not sure if you like turnips, this is an excellent way to give them a try. They melt into the dish perfectly with the potatoes, adding a little sweetness while also lightening the heaviness of the original dish.
If you have a Mandoline Slicer , by all means, use it to slice the potatoes and turnips for the quickest prep and most perfectly thin slices. I sliced these by hand because mine is in the shop. (And by “in the shop”, I mean in an actual store where I have yet to buy it because I don’t have one anymore.) It actually doesn’t take long to slice by hand, and believe me, it’s worth it.
If you want to be fussy about it, you could alternate the slices evenly, but I just placed the potatoes and turnips as randomly as I grabbed them out of the bowl. One thing I love about this Stoneware Oval Dish is the lack of corners makes it very easy to clean. My sister-in-law, Wendi, has been making this gratin, for holidays, with butternut squash and potatoes for as long as I can remember, and it is definitely a winning combination.
One excellent shortcut I have used in the past is to use garlic-and-herb cream cheese to make the cheesy sauce, cutting out the need to chop and dice the shallots, garlic and herbs. The end result will only be as good as the quality and freshness of the ingredients, so if you choose to take this route, I’d be choosy about the product. I used to buy the garlic and herb cream cheese from my favorite bagel shop where it was freshly made, with all the flavors that I wanted in the dish.
For the topping, I buy the “fresh” shredded Parmesan from the grocery store and have used every type of breadcrumb: from dried store-bought, to freshly made, with a slice of bread and a food processor, to panko.
Let’s just have a moment to admire that crust. I’ll wait.
I’m going to rest my case now. Here is the recipe:
- 3 large Idaho potatoes
- 3 large turnips
- 1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 6 oz cream cheese, at room temp
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil the bottom of a shallow 2 quart baking dish.
- Peel and very thinly slice the potatoes and turnips. Place them in a large bowl and toss with 3/4 cup of the cream. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a skillet or small sauce pan, add the shallots and garlic. Saute over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, be careful not to brown.
- Add the bay leaves and rosemary to the skillet. Wisk in the cream cheese, milk and remaining 3/4 cup cream. Simmer, whisking constantly, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the paprika, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and carefully discard the bay leaves.
- Arrange the potatoes and turnips in a shallow baking dish, spreading out evenly. Pour the hot cream cheese mixture over the potatoes evenly. Sprinkle the top first with the Parmesan, and then with the bread crumbs.
- Bake until the potatoes and turnips are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.