September 27, 2009

Potato Gratin with Spinach and Pine Nuts

Potato gratin is a perfect dish to make as we enter the cool fall weather. I made it tonight because I had a big bag of potatoes and was looking for something besides our usual (though loved) mashed potatoes...I also happened to have spinach and pine nuts in the house; it seemed like not to make this dish would be against the natural forces that keep our household running smoothly. Turns out, we love this dish. It was so good and I was surprised how easy it was to put it together. An hour after diner has finished, the rich, savory smell of of this dish still lingers. The combination of potatoes and spinach in a creamy sauce and topped with crispy cheesy and nutty happiness is a treat.

The The recipe (inspired by the Complete Vegetarian cookbook by Nicola Graimes) calls for cream and milk - I used almond milk with ground flax seed and it worked wonderfully.

Serves 2.
Delicious with a nice green salad.

  • Two medium sized potatoes, sliced thinly (wafer size)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups almond or soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper to taste - I used a teaspoon of red/black ground pepper combo because we like it spicy
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup grated cheese - I used half Parmesan and half Gouda
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400F.
  2. Spread the potato slices in a heavy, non-stick frying pan. They should overlap. Sprinkle the garlic and onions evenly over the potatoes.
  3. Whisk together the milk, flax, salt, and pepper in a small bowel. Pour mixture over the potatoes.
  4. Place frying pan over preheated burner and cook on medium-high heat until potatoes are tender. About 12 minutes. Prick with a fork to check them.
  5. Meanwhile, saute the spinach with the olive oil until just wilted. Set aside.
  6. When the potatoes are tender, spread the spinach over the top of them and cook for two more minutes.
  7. Transfer the potatoes - with all the sauce - to an oven-proof dish (use your fry pan if you can...I don't have an oven-proof one...yet. I guess I need a bigger oven too.). Sprinkle potatoes with cheese and pine nuts.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes - cover with foil if the top starts to burn, but let the topping get crispy.
  9. Serve immediately.

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