Sometimes mashed potatoes just aren’t going to cut it. And baked potatoes, while easy, can be monotonous. As I’ve said before, we need our starch and veggies with every meal so this problem must be solved! The answer for me was a gratin of delicate, hearty potatoes, bright green zucchini and sweet squash. Top it with garlic and rosemary infused cream and a VERY generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese and the word ‘board’ will be far from your lips. I love this dish in the winter. It arrives warm and bubbly from the oven ready to stick to your ribs. And each component of the recipe – the squash, zucchini and potatoes – really speaks for itself, never overwhelming each other. On this particular night I prepared parmesan crusted chicken breasts (find the recipe here – parmesan crusted chicken breasts) while the gratin baked away, offering us a balanced and filling dinner on a very cold December night.
Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Assemble the ingredients. While you are prepping the vegetables you will want to warm the cream. Pour one pint (or two cups) of heavy cream in a pot. Add a generous pinch of nutmeg, two cloves chopped garlic and two sprigs fresh rosemary. Let steep on very low heat so the cream doesn’t burn but instead takes on the aromatics from the rosemary and garlic. Stir often and add one tsp salt and one tsp pepper just before use.
While the cream is warming, peel your potatoes. I used three yukon gold potatoes for this recipe. A russet potato would work fine as well. Peel the potatoes and then trim off any bad spots.
Slice the potatoes VERY thin – as close to 1/8th of an inch as you can get. If you have a mandolin, this job will be super easy and fast. I do not have one (are you listening Santa Claus?!?!) so I just focus and slice. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just thin and as even as you can get it. You’re at home and cooking is supposed to be relaxing – have fun with it.
Repeat with the squash and zucchini. I used one yellow squash and one zucchini.
Layer the potatoes, squash and zucchini on the bottom of a casserole dish. My pattern was pretty straightforward but have fun with it and get creative! Just make sure the layer is even and the bottom of the dish is covered.
Pour three quarters of a cup of the cream onto the vegetables, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper – the cream has been seasoned but the vegetables haven’t, so you want to make sure not to skip this part.
It’s snowing! Don’t you wish it snowed parmesan cheese? Then you know everyone would be walking down the street with their face tilted upwards and their tongues out! For now, just make sure there is a nice dusting of parmesan cheese on the bottom layer. Once this is done, repeat with a second layer of veggies, more cream, salt, pepper and cheese. Add one final layer – three total – with all of the components.
Top with lots of cheese on pop in the oven for 45 minutes. It’s going to be sooo good!
Voila! Just a promised. A bubbly, cheesy gratin. Warm and ready to serve. So bundle up, grab a glass of wine and tuck in. I promise this will heat up any winter’s day!
- two cups heavy cream
- pinch nutmeg
- two cloves garlic, chopped
- two sprigs rosemary
- one tsp salt
- one tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- three yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (1/8th of an inch)
- one yellow squash, 1/8th inch slice
- one zucchini, 1/8th inch slice
- salt and pepper
- one cup freshly grated parmesan cheese