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Recipes and Stories

30 March 2018: Fresh for Easter I

Spring-Fresh Gratin of New Potatoes and Spring Onions

This year, my own Easter table is being shared with a family that has its own long-standing traditions and so rather than imposing one or the other, we’re blending our menus together. In that same spirit of sharing and blending, instead of my usual make-ahead Easter dinner menu and recipes, I thought I’d offer some fresh ideas for changing up the menu.

To begin, here’s a simple potato gratin, developed for my newspaper column on fresh spring gratins, that’s lighter than the usual cream-based concoction. It’s an ideal Easter side dish whether you have ham, lamb, turkey, or fried chicken . . . or all of the above.

Gratin of New Potatoes with Spring Onions
Potato gratins don’t have to be heavy with white sauce or cream or, for that matter, loaded with cheese to be good. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you can simply double the recipe. You’ll need a 3-4 quart gratin dish.
Serves 4

1¼ pounds small new potatoes
4 small green onions, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1¼ cups (about 5 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and whole black pepper in a mill
Whole nutmeg in a grater
¼ cup Buttered Crumbs (see recipe)

1. Prepare a heavy-bottomed pot with at least 1 inch of cold water and a steamer insert (make sure that the water doesn’t touch the insert). Cover and bring it to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes under cold running water. Add them to the insert, cover, and steam for 2 minutes. Adjust the heat to medium and steam until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes, depending on size.

2. Remove them from the pot and let cool enough to handle. Butter a 2-quart gratin dish or shallow casserole. Slice the potatoes and arrange them in rows in dish, overlapping and scattering onions and parsley among the rows and sprinkling with a little Parmigiano as you go but reserving ¼ cup for the top. Drizzle each row with butter and season well with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. If any onions and parsley remain, scatter them over the top. The gratin can be made several hours ahead to this point.

3. 45 minutes before serving, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 375° F. Sprinkle the gratin with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and the buttered crumbs. Bake until hot through and the top is lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. Let it settle 5-10 minutes before serving.

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