We had JTs family for Easter brunch again this year and I wanted to change it up a bit and serve some different sides. I recently started following John over at Kitchen Riffs and he posted a fantastic update to the traditional scalloped potato dish…he added celery root! Can you believe it? This change was very appealing to me because although scalloped potatoes are not considered healthy, this version is slightly healthier than the traditional version. While potatoes have almost 1 calorie per gram, and a glycemic load of 29, celery root has 0.4 calories per gram with a glycemic load of 6! While it may not make this a healthy dish, it does help mitigate some of the other not-quite-so-healthy ingredients in this dish.
I was also inspired to add some thyme to this dish as I was preparing the béchamel sauce and it was fantastic; the thyme really played into the celeriac flavours beautifully. The celeriac also made this dish a lot less starchy than one made exclusively with potatoes. I’m definitely keeping this version for future family dinners.
The original recipe came from my trusty Five Roses Cookbook which is now falling apart at the seams, but that’s OK, it looks well-loved!
Scalloped Potatoes with Cereriac
Serves 10-12 small servings
- 3 medium sized potatoes (Yukon Gold work very well), peeled and sliced very thinly
- 1 small celeriac (celery root), peeled and sliced very thinly
- 1/2 Vialia onion, sliced very thinly
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1/4 cup AP flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus one sprig for garnish
- 1/2 cup grated yellow cheddar cheese
- Prepare an oven-proof baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (I like to use one pretty enough to serve from and that way I’m not messing around plating the dish). Preheat the oven to 190°C (350°F).
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat, increase the heat a little and add the flour, mixing well to combine. Cook this mixture for a few minutes making sure not to burn it. Slowly add the milk into the cooked flour and whisk to combine and remove all lumps. Add the chopped thyme and salt and whisk well; cook the béchamel until thick (should still be pourable).
- Beginning with the potatoes, layer a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish and cover the bottom fully. Next layer the onions over the potatoes and then the celery root. Cover these three layers with the thyme béchamel sauce. Repeat the layering process with the béchamel sauce until you have used up all of the vegetables, leaving a small amount of béchamel to pour over the very top of the layers.
- Place the baking dish onto a cookie sheet (you’ll thank me later) and sprinkle the cheddar over the béchamel. Bake uncovered for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a cake tester flows into the potato, celery root easily. Serve hot.
- Béchamel thickens as it bakes so don’t worry if you feel your béchamel is runny, it will be fine made with the proportions in this recipe.
- This dish may be made in advance, cooled and refrigerated. Reheat with additional cheese (broiling may be necessary).
- When you reheat, make sure the béchamel bubbles up.