“Gratin de Pommes de Terre Provencal”
(“Scalloped Potatoes with Onions, Tomatoes, Anchovies, Herbs & Garlic”, page 525-526 “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, Volume One, Fortieth Anniversary Edition, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck, New York, Alfred A. Knopf 2008)
I realized last week when Julia Child would have been 100 years old that I have never actually cooked any of her recipes. I do own quite a few of her cookbooks. I have always used her books as reference books, not as cooking books.
So in honor of Julia’s 100 birthday I pulled out my copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and followed her recipe for “Gratin de Pommes de Terre Provencal”.
The results? A light scalloped potato dish, speckled with fresh seeded tomatoes sautéed with onions, an anchovy-garlic paste & fresh thyme, dusted on the top with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano and baked until golden brown and bubbly. No cream or butter to cover up the taste of the vegetables, just a wonderful freshness that emphasized the creaminess of the potatoes & spiciness of the other ingredients, all complimenting each other perfectly.
The original recipe is not at all complicated or fussy. I have taken the liberty to give the recipe in my own words to make it “blog friendly”.
2 cups thinly sliced onions
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded & juiced (This is the only change I made, I did not peel the Heirloom Tomatoes I used)
1/4 tsp salt
6 canned anchovies, packed in olive oil & drained
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp thyme (both fresh & chopped)
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 lbs boiled potatoes, sliced thinly
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Swiss Cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1. Cook onions in 2 tbsp olive oil slowly together until tender but not browned. Cut seeded tomatoes into strips & gently stir into the onions. Set aside
2. In a small bowl, mash the anchovies, garlic, herbs, pepper & 2 tbsp olive oil into a paste-like mixture.
3. Spread 1/4 of tomato-onion mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Layer on top, 1/2 of the sliced potatoes, half the anchovy mixture and 1/2 of the remaining tomato-onion mixture. Layer on remaining potato slices & anchovy mixture, topping with remaining tomato-onion mixture. Sprinkle cheese & 1 tsp olive oil over the top.
4. Bake in middle of an oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. If top begins to brown too much, cover loosely with foil. Serve.
A heartfelt & belated “Bon Anniversaire” Julia.
19 thoughts on ““Gratin de Pommes for Julia on a Summer’s Evening””
That’s charming Teresa, and it looks delicious.
you have both my mouth and my eyes watering. i’m totally serious: i got so excited by this dish and your fabulous photography my eyes welled up. hm. maybe it’s time to go back on the meds. 😉
I can see from the pictures that it has to be delicious
Maybe a left over, for when i am back
Teresa, this sounds delicious! And a real bonus with no cream too. As soon as I saw the words anchovies you hooked me in, another recipe for me to save and make, thank you
What a nice looking gratin, especially since it has my favorite ingredient- anchovies. But I see that I am not alone!!
Teresa this potato dish is my all time favorite. I had to have a second portion at 3rd Thursday last week….
Nicole & Claire, thanks so much for your comments. I do love anchovies, but they can certainly create a division of the ones who like them and the ones who don’t, can’t they?
I will definitely be making this,…. unless the Gratin de Pommes Fairy wants to drop one off on my porch. It could happen.
Terese, I must confess that low these many years I have never cooked a Julia recipe per se either. Scandalous, no? This dish was a treasure at the last potluck. Exceptionally beautiful shots, too.
A lovely tribute to one of the greatest. Love this dish and I do intend to make it. Love all the flavors together.
Humph. If the chillen” didn’t dislike tomatoes mixed up in their food so much, I would make this in a heartbeat. Maybe I will anyway, and you can help me eat it! Jill
Well if the “chillens” didn’t dislike tomatoes mixed in with their food, I would make this in a heartbeat. Maybe I will anyway, and you can come help me eat it. Yum. Jill
So typical of the fresh ingredients of provence…I’m sure Julia is smiling knowing that so many have been honoring her. Nice job Teresa.
Delicious! I am a huge fan of the anchovy. Perusing some of Julia’s recipes seems a fine idea. I might do the same.
Aren’t anchovies just the best. They can make some many dishes have just the right flavor. Fresh or canned….I love them.Thanks for stopping by.
I cook a lot, especially Cookbook for Julia
But I can not find a cookbook for Julia