Hey all the lovely people! Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday. I had a terrific day out last Sunday at the Quest Mall, Kolkata. Experienced the visual extravaganza that is Baahubali 2, and caught a glimpse of the new launches at MAC and Mother’s Day gifting options at the Kama Ayurveda store. I even picked up a Signature Essentials Gift Box for Women from Kama.
Today however, I chose to spend at home and with family. Family time is something I totally cherish, and weekends tend to be a bit lazy for me after a long week. 😀 So for a change, I cooked up a lunch at home today. 🙂
So What’s Cooking?
Vegetable au gratin is something I have been wanting to try for a long time now. I recall tasting it at sumptuous buffet meals across renowned restaurants in the city. But never really thought of preparing it until today. As rich as it may look, vegetable au gratin is a relatively simple dish to cook. You only need a good amount of assorted seasonal veggies to start off with. I had carrots, frozen peas, beans and even potatoes and mushrooms in my au gratin today. 🙂
Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients :
- Vegetables (totally your choice; perk it up with broccolis, corns and carrots for some dash of color, or keep it simple with what’s available in your basket) – diced or cubed ; 2 cups
- White flour – 2 whole tbsp
- Butter/Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
- Milk – 2 cups
- Garlic cloves – chopped or ground in a paste ; 4-5 cloves
- Mozzarella cheese or pizza cheese (easily available across stores) – grated ; 1/2 cup
- Chilli flakes – to flavour
- Oregano – optional
- Salt – to taste
The Preparation :
First of all I washed and diced my choice of veggies (except mushroom, that came sliced in brine, and the frozen peas), and immersed them in boiling water. When they turned a little tender, I kept them aside and took a little oil in a kadhai. A little frying and they were almost ready. In a separate saucepan (or the same one if you may), heat 2tbsp of oil or butter and put the garlic. After the raw smell of garlic is almost gone, add the flour. Stir it in low flame and pour the milk, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. In case there is an accidental lump or two, smash it out with the back of a smaller spoon and keep stirring. The white sauce that I make here is very similar to the one I made for my pasta servings.
After the liquid in the saucepan has reached the consistency of a sauce, switch off the burner and add the cooked vegetables, chilli flakes, oregano and salt. Then add some grated cheese and mix all well. The cheese melts in the pan with the heat. Now pre-heat your oven at 200 deg Celsius (I used an OTG, but a microwave oven is the convention). In the meanwhile, take an oven-proof dish and transfer the contents of the saucepan in it. Garnish generously with grated mozzarella cheese.
Place the dish in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes. This is the average baking time for vegetable au-gratin but it can vary anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the crust you want, and your device. After your vegetable au-gratin is prepared, you can serve it with breads of your choice, or even as a condiment for a main course meal. 🙂
So this is how my vegetable au gratin looks like :
A Final Word :
I totally love easy going recipes that appeal to my taste buds. Vegetable au gratin is a super easy, yet tasty way to consume veggies other than making traditional sabzis from them. I do love sabzi masala too, but at times they tend to get a bit monotonous for me. So I try to look up some other ways to cook my veggies. 😀 And this particular recipe makes the veggies succulent and I quite like them that way!
Please note that you can only either boil the diced vegetables, or slightly fry them, or do both, depending on your liking. 🙂 Mozzarella cheese is traditionally used in au gratin, as it is deemed to be a lighter version of the regular cheese. You can refrigerate it, and it mostly just adds up some flavor in your assorted veggie au gratin.
How do you prefer your au gratin? have you tried cooking it up at home? Drop me comments below!