Potato Gratin with Artichoke, Mushroom + Spinach

2 Sep

With VegetablesToday was full on all the time. It never let up and it never stopped. M came home at 6, after a crazy work day, and the beautiful baby Z was done. M went up to put her to bed, and I knew that she would be downstairs within an hour, ready to eat something before falling into bed herself. I wanted to cook something that would be simple, warm and most of all, give us all some comfort. I came up with this potato gratin, using baby fingerling potatoes, with artichoke hearts, mushroom and spinach. It was good and simple, easy going down, and felt like a big hug.

Just note that if you want, you can use coconut milk or almond milk, though Im not too positive that they will be great substitutions for a vegan diet. I read in a book the O sisters gave me for my birthday about whizzing up raw cashews and using their milky goodness in place of cream, but to be honest, tonight was one of those nights where I just couldnt think of vegan … we needed the proteins from the milk and cheese, and I needed to be able to pull it all together in under an hour.

I put no spices, garlic, onions or flavourings into this dish. I wanted the vegetables to speak for themselves, and I wanted it to be a calming, tasty but not aggressive dish, because sometimes, during very tiring days, we just want softness and stillness.

I succeeded, and the best compliment was my sister, hugging me, and telling me how happy she was to come back, from such a hard day, and have a home cooked meal waiting for her. This is what cooking is about – loving and supporting and comforting your family and friends, in a way that is fleeting but whose sayang is always remembered.

This will serve 4 as a main course. Leftovers are really good the next day, chopped up, pan fried and served with an egg for breakfast!

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes (I used baby fingerlings), chopped
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms (I used 1 large portobello), peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, sliced fine
  • 1 cup milk (I used low fat)
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts (or asparagus or peas – something green is good)
  • 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup grated parmesan (or other cheese to your liking)

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Slice the potatoes into a large pot, cover with water, add salt, and bring to the boil. Keep simmering until the potatoes break when crushed by the times of a fork – about 25 – 30 minutes.

While the potatoes are simmering, heat the oils in a frying pan, and saute the mushroom until it starts to colour a bit and burn around the edges. Add the spinach all at once, and allow it to wilt. Once the spinach has softened, add the milk, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes, or until the milk has just thickened a bit. Add the artichoke hearts and mix well, and then add 1/4 cup parmesan. Set aside.

Once the potatoes are done, drain them, and then tumble them into a small baking pan. Pour in the sauce and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust.Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over.

Bake in oven for at least 10 – 15 minutes. You will see the liquid becoming absorbed by the potatoes. Switch your oven to broil, and allow the gratin to brown for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy the love and hug of this complete comfort meal.

2 Responses to “Potato Gratin with Artichoke, Mushroom + Spinach”

  1. Muna September 2, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Once again I am drooling 🙂 You make everything sound so good and easy… Question instead of Truffle oil what can I use ?

    Love to all,
    Muna

    • delectableblog September 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

      Thanks Muna 🙂 I use truffle oil for the depth of flavour it adds a dish. Instead of truffle oil, you could add some toasted sesame oil or peanut oil or even walnut oil – depending on your taste and what you like. I have been quite successful even adding a tablespoon of pesto… or even sometimes tomato sauce. But I wouldnt add as much of the above mentioned oils because these oils are very strongly flavoured – may be a teaspoon or so? You could also add balsamic vinegar (after the spinach) for depth of flavour – I love the caramelised taste it adds… Or just add a little bit more olive oil to the mix 🙂 This is an open recipe – you add what you have, and change to things you like 🙂

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