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Potatoes 6

Potato tomato gratiné, green salad with simple viniagrette

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Don’t be scared by the fancy name. 😉 A gratin is a culinary technique where a food is topped with a browned crust which usually consists of breadcrumbs, cheese, egg and/or butter. Gratinées are usually baked or broiled to form a golden crust on top and are served in their own baking dishes.

Potatoes gratiné is one of the most common of gratins and is known by an assortment of names, including gratin dauphinois. You might know it better as scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin.

Gratin dauphinois is a specialty of the Dauphiné region of France. The ingredients consist of thinly sliced and layered potatoes and cream cooked in a buttered baking dish rubbed with garlic. Gratin savoyard is a variation where the cream is replaced with cheese and butter, and meat stock is poured over prior to baking. Gratin Languedocien consists of eggplant and tomato, topped with breadcrumbs and olive oil, then browned.

Besides potatoes and eggplant, other gratinées may include avocado, zucchini, pumpkin, turnip or fish. A gratiné is typically associated with autumn or winter. It can also form the basis of a light summer supper. Serve with a green salad and a glass of white wine.

2 medium ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced — use a mandoline or a really sharp knife
1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, thinly sliced
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup white wine or vegetable stock
kosher salt
freshly milled black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or herbed breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Layer half of the potatoes in the bottom of a Pyrex baking dish, then half of the onions and half of the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and tarragon. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Repeat layers and check seasoning. Top with any remaining potatoes. Pour white wine or stock over the vegetables. Scatter cheese or breadcrumbs on top of the potatoes if desired. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the top is golden brown.

Serves 4 (for a side dish) or 2 (for a main course).

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