It’s been a fierce winter, friends. Not Beyonce-fierce, but honey badger-fierce. Endless white stuff, sagging roofs, skidding cars… yes, we’d say “snowpocalypse” is the perfect word to describe our winter here in Bend. For those who grew up in Central Oregon or have been around long enough to remember, “just like the good ol’ days” also works. (We’re looking at you, winter of 1993.)
When your back is sore from shoveling snow and you’re exhausted from sleepless nights of listening to your house creak and you’re dreaming about floating the Deschutes in a unicorn inner tube, what’s a Bendite to do?
Good food has a way of making a crazy winter more bearable. (Someone should study the ratio of cabin fever + school closures + roof rake shortages + wet socks divided by a soul-satisfying, belly-filling home cooked meal.) Surviving winter is more than wishing for the sizzling days of summer. It’s about simple actions that buoy spirits… and make your home smell dang delicious in the process.
One of our favorite things to do is bake. We love hearty recipes that warm the bones. Comfort food is THE best food, don’t you agree? And when it’s served up in colorful cookware (Le Creuset’s hues take us to a happy place), it becomes this magical thing that puts smiles on faces.
Need a little food inspo this week? Try this delish recipe, courtesy of Le Creuset:
Roasted Root Vegetables & Gruyere Gratin
1 baguette, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small sweet onion, chopped
5 large parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
5 medium or large beets, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt & Pepper
2 cups Gruyere, grated
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Bunch of rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. In a food processor, combine baguette pieces, olive oil and garlic. Pulse until the mixture resembles medium-size meal. You should still have some texture and larger pieces of bread. Set aside.
3. In a small sauté pan, heat butter and add onion, cooking until translucent.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine sliced root vegetables with sautéed onion and fold to combine.
5. Butter the gratin dish. Place one third of the vegetables in an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour evenly over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Top with one third of the breadcrumbs and one third of the cheese. Repeat twice to use up all ingredients, omitting flour on the top layer.
6. Pour cream over the top. Make sure that only a little cream is visible when pressing the vegetables down flat.
7. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and vegetables are tender. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
The amount of liquid in a gratin is important. Too little will make a dry gratin, and too much will make it soupy. Pour in just enough cream so that you can see it peeking through the sides of the vegetables when you press down on top of them. All ingredients, including some of the best Gruyere cheese to ever hit your lips, can be found in our aisles.
Our 3 rules for comfort food
- Always pair your dish with good bread. We mean reeeeaaaally good bread like Newport Market’s garlic bread or a crusty loaf from local favorites Sparrow Bakery or The Village Baker, delivered fresh to our store daily. Don’t forget to slather it up with our creamy Locally Churned Butter. (And ditch the margarine… forever.)
- Uncork a bottle (or two) of lush red wine. We’ve got you covered there, too. Our wine department has options for every budget.
- Share your meal with family and friends. Eat well together and be well together.
Strap on your snowshoes or Yak Tracks (or brave the craggy roads) and head over to Newport Avenue Market to stock up on the groceries, gadgets and gifts that make life good. We’re Central Oregon’s food hub and we’re here for you rain, shine or insane amounts of snow. Stay safe. Look out for one another. And remember… honey badgers eventually fall asleep.