My French section is getting bigger and more in depth. I hope you are entertained as much as I am with #ParisFunFact, ♥recent posts♥ and pictures. This week is dedicated to Parisian food. What would France be without its famous dishes? Let’s find out.
I love to cook and try new, tasty, and not dangerous foods from different cultures. In this post I am providing two recipes that are healthy, affordable, and can be prepared with no or little cooking skills at all. Did I also mention that these are vegetarian? Check them out right below!
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. dried herbes de Provence
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 large yellow onions, quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 medium zucchini (about 1 1⁄4 lbs.),
cut into 2″ pieces
- 1 medium eggplant (about 14 oz.), cut into 2″ pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
- 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
- 10 whole peeled tomatoes from the can, drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat oven to 400˚. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. Add herbes de Provence, garlic, onions, and bay leaf; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Increase heat to high; stir in the zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Uncover pot, transfer to the oven, and bake, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
Stir in basil and parsley, transfer ratatouille to a serving bowl, and serve warm or at room temperature.
I did not have peppers on hand and Mr K did buy diced tomatoes as oppose to whole. However, it did not affect the overall performance of the dish. I also mixed it with pasta and added some Parmesan cheese. As a sauce it served longer than if it was served as a side dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 6 as a side dish.
- 1 kg (2.2 pounds) potatoes, a mix of waxy and baking potatoes (if you prefer to use only one type, pick waxy potatoes, not too firm)
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk (whole or part-skim, not skim; I don’t recommend using non-dairy milk as the dish turns out watery)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 clove garlic, sliced lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (optional)
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) heavy cream (use whipping cream in the UK and crème fraîche liquide in France)
Peel the potatoes, rinse them briefly, and slice them thinly (about 3mm or 1/10th of an inch) and evenly. (A food processor or a mandoline come in handy at this point.) Do not rinse after slicing, or you will lose all that precious starch.
Combine the sliced potatoes, milk, salt and a good grating of nutmeg in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and keep simmering for 8 minutes, stirring the potatoes and scraping the bottom of the pan regularly to prevent sticking/scorching. The milk will gradually thicken to a creamy consistency.
While the potatoes are simmering, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) and rub the bottom and sides of a medium earthenware or glass baking dish (I use an oval dish that’s 26 cm/10 inches at its widest, and 2 liters/2 quarts in capacity) with the cut sides of the garlic clove.
Transfer half of the potatoes into the baking dish, sprinkle with the chives if using, and drizzle with half of the cream. Add the rest of the potatoes, pour the cooking milk over them, and drizzle with the remaining cream.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbly on the edges and nicely browned at the top. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
You can also bake the gratin a few hours ahead, let cool, and reheat for 15 minutes in a 220°C (430°F) oven before serving. The leftovers are fantastic the next day, cold or reheated.
As with previous recipe, I didn’t have cream and nutmeg. Instead I put some grated cheddar cheese where the cream was supposed to be drizzled. It turned out very good anyway. If left unsupervised Mr K would finish the whole casserole by himself. 🙂
What do you think of those recipes? Do you want to make them? Share your tips or aftermath of your trial right below. Would love to see the results!