Apple Onion Cheese Gratin

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Rich with sharp cheese and walnuts, sweet with apples and onions, this delicious and unusual gratin makes a wonderful autumn meal. This week, menu planner and innovative cook, Jenny Wang, adapted this recipe as a stuffing for a delectable baked winter squash and substituted pistachios for the walnuts. Doesn’t that sound good?  Try serving it beside Wild Rice Pilaf and a salad of bitter greens and vinaigrette.

Apple Onion Cheese Gratin
Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached white flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples, such as Mutsu
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pistachios!)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs*
For a slightly sweeter gratin, mix 2 tablespoons of brown sugar with the bread crumbs. This will bring out the flavor of the apples.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly oil an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
  3. In a small pot, scald the milk, bringing it almost but not quite to a boil.
  4. In another small pot, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.
  5. Slowly add the scalded milk, whisking continuously until the sauce starts to thicken.
  6. Add the nutmeg, salt, and cloves and stir for about a minute, until thick.
  7. Remove from the heat and set aside
  8. Spread the apples and onions evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle on the grated cheese and pour the sauce over the top.
  10. Scatter on the walnuts and bread crumbs (seasoned with brown sugar, if you like).
  11. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp.
Notes
PER 6.5-OUNCE SERVING: 326 CALORIES, 12.1 G PROTEIN, 21.6 G FAT, 24.1 G CARBOHYDRATES, 8.3 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS, 35.7 MG CHOLESTEROL, 437.5 MG SODIUM, 3.9 G TOTAL DIETARY FIBER

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