Root vegetables sing of the season. Steeping the ancho chiles in the broth lends a smoky deep layer to the flavor of this dish.
2 dried ancho or chipotle chiles
1 ½ cups low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large baking potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 14 ounces), peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
2 medium parsnips (about 8 ounces), peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 medium turnips (about 12 ounces), peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick slices salt
2 cups (about 8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a small saucepan, simmer the ancho chiles in the vegetable broth for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep while preparing the gratin.
3. Rub a casserole or baking pan (about 12 cup) with the olive oil. Arrange the root vegetable slices, starting with a layer of slightly overlapping potatoes, followed by sweet potato, parsnip, .and turnips; repeat the sequence. Season each layer with salt and sprinkle with diced roasted pepper and shredded cheese; reserve about 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.
4. Remove the anchos from the broth and pour evenly over the casserole. Cover with foil wrap and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake for 15 more minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Note: Use a mandoline to slice vegetables quickly and uniformly. Made of stainless steel or plastic, they are usually sold with a variety of blades for thin slicing, julienning, and french-fry cutting. Inexpensive, good-quality plastic mandolines are available at most culinary stores.
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