Mar 25, 2010

the greening of potato gratin

lovely greens
coming together, add one more layer
fresh from the oven
after we've all had second helpings (success). some lucky person will devour the leftovers tomorrow, happy that no one else is at home. sadly, it was not me this time.

lovely greens. decadent potato gratin. health, vitality and lusciousness all coming together in one dish. this is the sort of thing that makes life worth living.

the germination of this lovely pairing was not my own, the lovely martha rose shulman published a recipe in the new york times just the other week which got me thinking. i seized on this concept because i love to add greens to everything delicious, because i think it often makes things more delicious and because i love every excuse to make potato gratin.

however martha's recipe (check it out here) takes a different approach than the one you see here. as i am very strict with my potato gratins and i strongly prefer them without eggs, milk, flour, onions etc. the simpler, more decadent version, the type you would find in my favorite parisian restaurants (with heavy cream or creme fraiche and gruyere cheese and little else save the potatoes and in this case the greens).

i am indebted to ms. shulman for many things, beyond this. i love her column recipes for health. i devour it every week, and frequently try her recipes with success. she often has a brilliant take on more healthful eating, which i adore.

this recipe takes me right back to france in it's rich and satisfying more than the sum of it's parts magic. a wonderful dish to go with ham or lamb or roast chicken. perfect for an easter feast or having company over for dinner as it is delicious just barely warm and keeps like a dream. it will wait for you.

potato gratin with greens
2 lbs russet potatoes
1 to 2 large bunches of greens (kale and rainbow chard for me)
1 clove of garlic
1 cup heavy cream or a mixture of heavy cream and milk
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated

first, wash the greens and tear their leaves from their stems. i have found it is fastest and most fun to do this by hand rather than with a knife. set a medium pot 1/3 full of water and set it to boil. add a teaspoon or two of salt to the water. blanch the greens for a minute or two, i used two for the kale and one for the chard simply by adding the kale first, then the chard after a minute and removing them both together. drain and chop roughly.

preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. next grate the gruyere. cut the garlic clove in half and rub both halves all over the inside of your gratin pan. now peel the potatoes and slice them very very thin. as thin as you can.

arrange half the potatoes in a layer over the bottom of the pan. sprinkle or otherwise disperse the chopped greens over the potatoes, add 1/3 the cheese over top of this. pour 1/3 the cream over this layer.

2nd layer. repeat with the remaining potatoes, greens, cheese and cream. place pan in preheated oven and cook for 50 to 60 minutes. it should be brown and bubbly. gorgeous. and the smell should draw family members to the kitchen from their various hiding places to ask how long till dinner.

i can't recommend this more highly. the greening of potato gratin. really, try it!


  1. this sounds amazing! i may have to make it tonight!

  2. yum yum yum yum yum yum yum.

    i only wish it were possible to get waxy potatoes in america. which yukon golds no longer are.

  3. sallymanderingorangeMarch 28, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    i made this tonight with spinach... so YUM... thanks Gretchen