This golden beet gratin is made with gorgeous orange beets, coconut milk, chopped walnuts, parmesan cheese and thyme for a decadent yet healthier side dish option perfect for your holiday table.
I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in the middle of Paris. Today is our last day in the city, a day we intended to spend sightseeing things like the view from Sacre Coeur at night, The Louvre, lunch at a famous creperie, a walk down the Champs Elysees, things tourists do.
And then Friday night happened.
We were lucky to be at an organized event on behalf of Cono Sur, the wine brand Julie won this trip through, on a dinner boat cruise in the middle of the Seine, probably the safest place we could’ve been in Paris on Friday night but just a couple of hours prior, we were walking the Parisian streets like everyone else, completely unaware of what was to come. Driving home from the boat in a taxi at 1am literally right through the area of the concert hall and restaurant shootings was surreal. Closed streets in every direction, armed military and police on every corner, crowds of people, sirens, so many sirens, the fear while you’re stopped at a red light that someone might just start shooting into your car because your mind is wandering in crazy directions.
The mood as I write this (Saturday afternoon) in Paris is tense and somber. There are people outside, but far fewer than normal. Shops, museums and many public places are closed. As a foreigner, our short walk around the corner to the market to get some food today was nerve-wracking and filled me with a sort of anxiousness I honestly haven’t felt since the sunny September morning I walked back from Econ 201 in 2001 to my college roommate hanging out of the window screaming that one of the Twin Towers had just collapsed. I’m a rational, pretty calm-natured person in tense situations but this, it kind of just rattles you to your core.
So we’re holed up in our hotel, passing hours doing work and just waiting to fly home tomorrow, praying our flights actually leave as scheduled.
I honestly don’t know what to say about this golden beet gratin. I had planned on talking about how great it’d be on your Thanksgiving table but it seems weird to talk about a holiday based around things we’re thankful for in light of the terrible events that took place in this city just last night.
As families come together in 10 or so days on our American holiday of thanks with an impressive display of comforting dishes to choose from, I hope you take a minute to think about the people of Paris whose holiday season was just turned upside down in the worst way possible.
Golden Beet Gratin
- 1 large golden beet, peeled, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk from a can
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme removed from stem, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Arrange sliced beets in a circular pattern in a baking dish.
- Combine coconut milk, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme in a small bowl and heat in the microwave (alternatively in a small sauce pot on the stove) until just warmed and fragrant.
- Pour milk mixture over the beets in the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove foil, top beets with chopped walnuts and parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until nuts are golden brown and toasted on top.
- Remove from oven, garnish with additional thyme and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.