Friday, July 30, 2010

Potato and Broccoli Gratinatta

"What is a Gratinatta," you ask? Well I don't know for sure, I just made it up today. We had a bunch of potatoes and broccoli around from our CSA and needed a way to use them up. I make a lot of frittatas as a way to clean out the fridge. Any combination of leftover potatoes, meat, vegetables, whatever else you have on hand is fodder for frittata in our house. However, for I always use cooked potatoes so they wind up like hash browns in my frittata, and that would not work today. A potato gratin, on the other hand, starts with raw potatoes and a lot of butter and cream.

Well, I figured I could smash them both together and come up with something good.

8-10 medium red new potatoes
6 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups or so chopped)
1 large onion or several small onions
6-8 sage leaves
8 eggs
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/2 lb grated Swiss cheese
Parmesan or Romano cheese
granulated garlic
olive oil

Slice all the potatoes on a mandolin or v-slicer, if you don't have one you could use your food processor or of course, a knife. The key is to get the slices all of even thickness. Slice them right into a bowl of water so some of the starch rinses off. Chop the onion and the sage leaves and set aside. Chop the broccoli into small pieces.

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

I used my Calphalon everyday pan for this dish, but any deep-sided oven-safe pan would be just fine, cast iron would work like a charm.
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the onions and sage leaves in the hot oil. Once the onions are soft, remove them from the oil and set aside.
Add enough oil to fully cover the bottom of the pan to a depth of about 1/8 inch and get it nice and hot, medium high heat should do it. Build a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with about 1/3 of the broccoli, add some Swiss cheese and top with some of the reserved onions and sage. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic then repeat with another layer of potatoes, broccoli, cheese, onion, and seasonings until you have filled the pan or run out of potatoes.

Beat the eggs with the milk, season with salt and pepper and pour the liquid into the hot pan until it is just below the lip of the pan. Sprinkle with some more Swiss and grate on some Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Place the whole pan into the oven and bake for 1.5 hours or until the liquid is all absorbed, the eggs are set and the potatoes are soft.

My first attempt at this today I undercooked and under seasoned so the ingredients I listed here are my best guess at appropriate amounts and time. Obviously you could scale this down for a smaller batch as this thing was huge and will provide leftovers for a couple days.

We served it with some very simple roasted beets (also from the CSA) with just a bit of salt and pepper, these were the sweetest beets I think I have ever eaten, and believe me I have eaten a lot of beets.

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