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Potato and Onion Gratin with Chopped Romaine and Roasted Red Pepper Salad

11 Nov

Last night we had a friend over for dinner and to watch some basketball, so I thought I would make something I could prepare ahead of time so I could simply pop it in the oven and enjoy time with our guest.  This gratin was rich, creamy, and delicious and only wish I had made a double serving, because we probably would have eaten it all.  The gruyère lent a rich, smoky flavor to this gratin that I really enjoyed, complimented well by the sharpness of the cheddar.  The salad, though simple, was elevated by the roasted red peppers.  Since the romaine was so crisp and there was a nice bite from the white wine vinaigrette, it was a nice pairing to the richness of the gratin.

Potato and Onion Gratin with Chopped Romaine and Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Potato and Onion Gratin:

1 large white onion, thinly sliced

3 small potatoes, thinly sliced (use a mandolin or food processor slicer for best results)

3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

3 tbs. all natural, whole wheat flour

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs. unsalted butter

1/2 cup 1% milk

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese

1 cup grated very sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375º.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and whites of green onions and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in milk.

Meanwhile, spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Toss potatoes and onion in flour to coat.  Place one layer of potatoes, then onion in casserole dish.  Top with a few tablespoons of milk-butter mixture, including some garlic and green onions, 1/4 of each type of cheese, and green onions.  Add another layer of potatoes and onions and repeat two more times.  Top with remaining cheese (I was a little cheese-happy on the bottom layer, so I just put Parmesan cheese on the top).

Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes.  If top is not browned or crisp, transfer to the broiler for 5-10 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Chopped Romaine and Roasted Red Pepper Salad:

2 hearts of romaine, roughly chopped

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper

2 small radishes, thinly sliced

2 cups homemade Parmesan croûtons

Preheat broiler.

Place red pepper on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and broil, roughly 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so to ensure even charring.  Place immediately into a ziplock bag and let sit for 10 minutes.  Peel charred black skin off of the pepper and thinly slice.

Combine all ingredients in layers and top with croûtons.  Serve with white wine vinaigrette (below).

White White Vinaigrette:

3 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. white wine vinegar

1 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

Whisk all ingredients together thoroughly.

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