Michel Nischan’s Root Vegetable & Apple Gratin

Michel Nischan is the Executive Chef at New York City’s Heartbeat restaurant in the W Hotel. The restaurant’s menu stresses the pure, natural flavors of food while avoiding such typical restaurant stand-bys as butter and high-fat dairy products. In addition to years of experience in the restaurant world, Chef Nischan has also found inspiration in his personal need to create delicious, low-fat food for his son, Chris, who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of five.

3/4 pound parsnips, peeled and very thinly sliced
3/4 pound potatoes, preferably Yukon gold, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound Vidalia onions, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
3/4 pound baking apples, such as Cortland or Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, chives, chervil, and thyme)

1 Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange half of the parsnips, in a single layer in the bottom of the pan. Top with half of the potatoes. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
2 Layer with half the onions and half the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Top with half the apples.
3 Layer with the remaining parsnips and potatoes and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Top with the remaining onions and sweet potatoes, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top with the remaining apples.
4 Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over all. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the herbs on top. Bake 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 8 servings

Makes Makes 8 servings servings.
Per serving: 154 calories, 3.7g total fat (0.5g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 5.4g dietary fiber, 29g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 301mg sodium.