If you are looking for a new way to serve carrots, why not try Carrots au Gratin? This creamy and delicious casserole is easy to put together, especially if you buy pre-sliced carrots, and is even hearty enough to serve as a light meal rather than a side dish. If you want to add more flavors, try some nutmeg, ginger, tarragon, or any other favorite seasoning for carrots. This dish is so similar to macaroni and cheese it could just become your new comfort food!
Carrots au Gratin
4 1/2 C. sliced carrots
3 T. butter
2/3 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. diced onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 1/2 C. milk
2/3 C. shredded cheese (I use a packaged shredded cheddar-mozzarella blend)
Lightly greased a 9x13-inch baking dish. Put the carrots in a steamer basket over one inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes until soft but not mushy. Melt one T. of the butter and combine with the panko. Melt the remaining 2 T. butter in a Dutch oven (or other large pot) over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Gradually add the milk, 1/2 C. at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the carrots. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish and top evenly with the panko. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until the topping is lightly browned. Serves 8.
Note: The original recipe calls for 2/3 C. crushed buttery crackers (such as Ritz) but I prefer the panko.
*I used one bag (1 lb.) Publix Dip Chip Carrots slices.