Paris Part Deux - Recipes

Tomato, Zucchini, Potato Gratin

    There are so many variations of this recipe, some with garlic, some with cheese, some with eggplant. It is called tian or gratin. Simple and easy to prepare, you can make it with mediocre, wintertime tomatoes and it won’t matter a bit. Here is my version.

    Serves four to six.
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 medium size Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3 inch thick
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated gruyere or Comte cheese (optional)

    Preheat oven to 375. In a large shallow gratin dish, drizzle a bit of olive oil. Then layer potatoes, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes, one after another. In between, sprinkle with thyme and salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over top, and cheese if desired, and bake in oven for about 1 hour, until vegetables are done. It may look a bit soupy, but will absorb some of the sauce upon sitting. For real decadence, place a few teaspoons of duck or goose fat on top before baking, instead of the olive oil.


Gratin Dauphinois Madame Cartet

    This is the easiest potato gratin recipe I have ever found, also one of the best. It is adapted from my favorite cookbook, Patricia Wells’s “Bistro Cooking.”
    Serves four to six.

1 garlic clove
2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
1 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
Salt

    Preheat oven to 350. Rub a shallow gratin dish (six-cup capacity) with the garlic. Layer half the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese and half the cream. Sprinkle with salt. Add another layer, using remaining ingredients. Bake uncovered until gratin is crisp and golden on top, about 50 to 60 minutes.Salt

    Preheat oven to 350. Rub a shallow gratin dish (six-cup capacity) with the garlic. Layer half the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese and half the cream. Sprinkle with salt. Add another layer, using remaining ingredients. Bake uncovered until gratin is crisp and golden on top, about 50 to 60 minutes.