gratin |ˈgrätn, ˈgratn|
a dish with a light browned crust of breadcrumbs or melted cheese.
When we hear the word “gratin” our thoughts often go straight to a dish of thinly sliced potatoes bathed in a cream sauce. Though Gratin Dauphinois (potato gratin) is likely the most popular version, the term gratin can refer to a heterogeneous collection of dishes. Cauliflower to zucchini, and everything in between has the potential to be developed into a gratin worthy of culinary praise.
The term “gratin” simply implies a baked dish with a crisp and browned crust. These dishes are most often served in the same dish in which they were baked, qualifying them as a sort of casserole.
Gratins evoke feelings of holiday dinners -- comforting and familiar.