Coming in next in this Vegetarian Culinary Tour de France is a Gratin of Melting Potatoes. Someone once said, “Slow and steady wins the race.” That’s true in this dish but not so much in the Tour de France. You must have patience when making this because it took almost three hours of cooking time in the oven to bake all the way through. In the end, though, we were treated with a creamy potato dish that was plate licking good.
If you can stand it, let the gratin sit a little bit to let the sauce thicken up a bit or, even better, stick it in the fridge and reheat it for the next day. Perhaps you could hop on your bike while it’s baking, get a good ride in, and return in time to eat this dish.
Gratin of Melting Potatoes
from The Best Vegetarian Recipes
- 4 1/2 lbs potatoes (For me, this was about 7 or 8 small russet potatoes, or as many as can fill your baking dish when sliced and placed into layers)
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 2 medium scallions
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 3 cups/32 oz half and half (I used about 2 cups heavy cream plus 1 cup skim milk)
- 2 teaspoons butter or vegetable margarine
Peel and cut potatoes into paper-thin slices. Rinse with cold water and drain. Peel and mince garlic. Trim and mince scallions. In a bowl, stir together garlic, scallions, thyme, nutmeg, 1 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Heat oven to 300F. Butter a 3 quart to 4 quart heatproof baking-serving dish. Put a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with the scallion-garlic mixture.
Repeat 4 times (or, as many layers as it takes to get near the top of your dish) finishing with a layer of potatoes.
Pour in just enough half-and-half to cover the potatoes.
Cover the dish and set over very low heat for 20 minutes. Remove cover, dot with butter.
Bake until potatoes are tender, about 2 ½ hours.