Our favorite new side dish (or vegetarian main, if made with vegetable broth) is a colorful version of scalloped potatoes. For richest flavor and color, look for deep-orange-fleshed sweet potatoes with skin that's burnt orange to dark red. A food processor's shredding disc and 2-mm. slicing blade make quick work of the cheese, sweet potatoes, and shallot.
2 pounds deep orange sweet potatoes (3 or 4 medium total), peeled and sliced 1/8 in. thick
1 large shallot, thinly sliced, rings separated
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus a thyme sprig
About 1 tsp. kosher salt
About 1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups (6 1/2 oz.) shredded aged gouda cheese
4 tablespoons flour, divided
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°. Evenly arrange half of sweet potatoes and shallot (including any uneven pieces) in a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-qt. baking dish. Combine chopped thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, and gouda and 1 tbsp. flour in another bowl. Sprinkle sweet potatoes with half of thyme mixture and half of gouda mixture. Arrange remaining sweet potatoes in dish in overlapping rows. Scatter with remaining shallot and thyme mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining 3 tbsp. flour with 1/4 cup cream until smooth. Whisk in remaining cream and the broth. Pour evenly over sweet potatoes and top with remaining gouda mixture.
Bake until gratin is bubbling and golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes, increasing the heat to 400° for the last 5 minutes or so. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Set a thyme sprig on top and add more salt and pepper to taste.
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