Sunchoke Skillet Gratin
By Amy Maltzan
Sunchokes are just starting to make their way into the marketplace again. These knobby little tubers are a great alternative to potatoes and when roasted they take on a nutty and creamy texture. This dish is a twist on the traditional casserole-style gratin. It’s easy to make and pairs well with roasted chicken.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds sunchokes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, melt the butter, remove from the heat and set aside. Mix together the thyme, salt, cayenne and nutmeg in a small bowl. Arrange ⅓ of the sunchokes, overlapping tightly, in bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with ⅓ of the thyme mixture. Repeat two more times for three layers total. Return the skillet to medium heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, until underside of bottom layer starts to brown. Add the cream, cover and cook 20–25 minutes, until the sunchokes are tender. Preheat an oven to 450° while the sunchokes cook. Sprinkle cheese over the top and place the skillet in the oven. Bake uncovered, 10–15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes, slice into wedges and serve.
Pair this dish with a nice, crisp Finger Lakes Chardonnay like this lightly oaked 2011 version from Wagner Vineyards.