I adore Gratin Dauphinoise for the luxurious, comforting satisfaction it brings to the table, but sometimes, just sometimes, the calorific creaminess of this French potato dish is too much.
Step forward Boulangère.
Named after the baker’s oven in which it would have traditionally been cooked, this is an absolute classic which transports me to France at the first taste.
(30cm x 20cm x 5cm ovenproof dish)
- 1.5kg potatoes
- 2 onions
- 2 bay leaves
- Thyme leaves
- 400ml vegetable or chicken stock
- salt & pepper
- 25g butter
- 25g parmesan
The size of your ovenproof dish is quite important, much like when making a lasagna.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
- Slice your potatoes as thinly as possible using a mandolin or food processor.
- Finely slice the onions.
- Place a layer of potato slices in the dish, top with a layer of onions and season.
- Repeat the layers in order, placing a bay leaf in the middle layer.
- Finish with a nice even layer of potatoes and pour over the stock.
- Season, sprinkle with thyme leaves and place a bay leaf on top.
- Dust with parmesan cheese.
- Dot with butter.
- Bake for around 1 hour until the potatoes are cooked through and the top is beautifully golden.
This recipe fills me with joy. Simple and rustic, yet so beautifully elegant, filling, nutritious and satisfying at the same time. It has its roots in France and brings out the best of ‘whatever you have available’. You could call it a spin on the classic Salade Niçoise or Provençal, or even a Mesclun.. it all depends what you have at your fingertips and how you’re feeling. I call it a Melange, a beautiful medley; an array of colours and a variety of shapes and textures.
Jamie brought us a simple green salad with lemon dressing, and this is my twist for the Food Revolution.
These are the basic ingredients that never fail to put a smile on my face:
- Green beans, blanched
- Egg, boiled and halved
- Grated anything: carrot, turnip, beetroot, cheese
- Leaves – I like baby gem, lambs lettuce or romaine
- Finely sliced onion, red or white
- Radish, sliced
- Fresh herbs
- Cucumber, sliced
- Tomato, sliced
- Why not pop a few croutons on – you can’t be perfect all the time..
It’s all about variety. Now plate up and dress just before serving.
Three parts oil to one part acid is perfect. Try this one on for size:
(for 1 person)
- 60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
- 20ml White Wine Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper
My preferred method is to pop it all in a jam jar and give it a good old shake.