Sweet Potato Gratin with Apples, Rosemary, Sage and Gruyere

Herbs and a bit of cream flavor this delicious side dish. Serve it as an entrée to vegetarians.  

6 to 8 servings  

1½ tablespoons butter
1½ to 1¾ pounds (about 2) garnet yams, peeled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, divided
¾ cup gruyere (preferably aged) cheese, divided
1 small granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
¾ cup milk
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup cream  

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Brush ½ tablespoon butter evenly over surface of 9-inch pie deep-dish pie dish. Arrange half of yams evenly in dish. Top with half of herbs, then ¼ cup of cheese. Top with apple slices and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Arrange remaining yam slices evenly over apples; sprinkle with remaining herbs. Bring milk, garlic and salt to simmer in heavy small saucepan (or in microwave) and pour evenly over yams. Season with pepper and dot with 1 tablespoon butter.

Cover tightly with foil and bake until tender when pierced with small, sharp knife, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; remove foil and drizzle with cream. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Continue baking until cream bubbles very thickly at edges and top is browned, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.    

-Recipe courtesy of Jeanne Kelley