Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post
This bake is a French-style gratin in essence, but with an unconventional, more healthful twist centered on nutrient-rich quinoa and featuring a mix of roasted vegetables. While its alluring, golden-brown gruyere topping calls like a siren, overall, it has a modest amount of cheese, and its sauce is made with milk, not cream, so it’s lighter. The deep hue of red quinoa is especially appealing, but the regular light brown variety works all the same, and any mix of roasted vegetables may be used, making it a unique and sumptuous way to use up leftovers.
Storage Notes: Leftovers may be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Olive oil, for greasing the dish
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 1/4 cups (4 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups cooked quinoa, preferably red (from about 3/4 cup/4 1/2 ounces uncooked
3 cups roasted mixed vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, squash), coarsely chopped
Position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Brush a 1 1/2- to 2-quart shallow baking dish with oil.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the garlic, mustard and paprika and, whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring a few times, until the mixture has thickened to the thickness of cream, about 2 minutes. Add half of the cheese, the salt and pepper, and stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth, then remove from the heat. Add the quinoa and vegetables to the pot and stir until combined.
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings
Per serving: Calories 298; Total Fat 12g; (Sat Fat 5g); Protein 15g; Carb 34g; Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 296mg; Total Sugar 3g