For my December holiday party, I intended to have a vegetable side dish to complement the baked pasta I served. Unfortunately, while prepping food for the party, time became my enemy and I decided to shelf my intended vegetable side - a baked sweet potato and leek gratin - to another day.
(fully baked gratin)
When I made the dish a week later, I definitely wished I had prepared it for the party. While the gratin would have been a great side dish for a large party, it did not equally suit to a dinner main course. While the sweet potatoes and leeks made for a nice sweet and salty contrast, the flavors did not feel complex enough for a main course that one would go back to again and again.
(partially baked gratin without breadcrumbs)
I did make a number of modifications to the Vegetarian Times recipe while putting it together. First, I substituted 2 jumbo sweet potatoes for the 2 lbs, which probably made for more sweet potatoes than intended. Second, I used water instead of vegetable broth which did not seem to reduce its flavor. Third, I substituted Parmesan for the Romano cheese. Fourth, I used homemade breadcrumbs from white bread instead of the dried Italian breadcrumbs.
(with breadcrumbs, unbaked)
I think a future modification would be to add some other herbs to the dish (e.g., thyme, sage) to add more complexity than just the rosemary. But otherwise, I think this will be a repeat recipe, but for a large winter gathering instead of a week night meal.
(interior cut of gratin, to see potato/leek layers)