Cool-weather comfort food so often means meat—beef Bourguignone, chicken pot pies, layered shepherd’s pie. But you don’t meat to make the perfect bubbly-brown casserole: Enter vegetable gratins. From potato and pimento cheese to fennel, red cabbage, and even Brussels sprouts, these dishes prove that vegetables can always benefit from a little bath in cream.
Reblochon, a soft washed-rind cheese from the French Alps, adds a luxurious creaminess and delicious pungency to this simple bacon and potato gratin.
Get the recipe for French Bacon, Potato, and Reblochon Casserole (Tartiflette) »
This casserole combines sardines with a creamy Swiss chard and a layer of crunchy bread crumbs.
The Provençal version of this gratin calls for a French pumpkin called potiron, but a combination of acorn and butternut squash will make a good substitute.
This classic gratin dauphinois, or scalloped potatoes, is one of our favorite comfort foods.
Southern cooks freeze field peas in the summer to use in the colder months. But butter beans or Sea Island red peas, an heirloom variety from South Carolina, make great substitutes in this casserole.
Don’t limit traditional pie spices—clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg—to the dessert table. In this cheesy, rich gratin, the spices take a savory note alongside kale, sweet potatoes, and sharp white cheddar.
Sweet, translucent roasted onions marry beautifully with the bechamel and Gorgonzola in this rich casserole.
Red Cabbage Gratin
A lightly-spiced parmesan and cream sauce is poured over chopped red cabbage, topped with bread crumbs and crushed walnuts, and baked to yield a great side dish for roast pork, chicken, turkey, or braised lamb.
See the recipe for Red Cabbage Gratin »
This recipe blends roasted brussels sprouts with a silky mornay sauce. A panko topping with lemon zest adds crunch and zing.