Egg and Turnip Gratin

Gratin d’Oeufs Durs aux Navets

Preparation info

  • Servings:


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About


  • 1 pound turnips, tender, firm, crisp, non-fibrous
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup butter (for the turnips)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup stale but not dried-out bread, crusts removed, crumbled
  • ¼ cup butter (for the crumbs)
  • Pepper
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs


    It is not through disdain that oeufs à la tripe are not presented here—they are very much in the spirit of the text and among the most wonderful of egg dishes. It seemed to me, simply, that the preparations are so nearly identical that it would be senseless to present both the turnip gratin and à la tripe and, whereas recipes for eggs à la tripe abound, this will be found no place else.

    Peel the turnips thickly, grate coarsely or pass them through the medium blade of a Mouli-juliènne, salt them in layers, leave for ½ hour, squeeze, first in their liquid and then, drained, squeeze thoroughly and repeatedly to rid them of all water. Cook gently in butter, tossing or stirring regularly, until tender—about 15 minutes.

    Sprinkle over the flour and continue to cook, stirring, for another 3 or 4 minutes, then add the milk slowly, stirring all the time. Bring to a boil and regulate the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally over a period of ½ hour.

    At the same time, cook the breadcrumbs gently in ¼ cup butter, tossing or stirring regularly, until lightly colored.

    Taste the turnip sauce for salt, add pepper, and spoon over halved hard-boiled eggs arranged in a lightly buttered gratin dish. Sprinkle over the buttered crumbs and bake in a hot oven until the sauce is bubbling and the surface colored—15 to 20 minutes.