Great Gratins

Traditional French gratins are delicious one-pot dishes with a breadcrumb or cheese topping and no bottom crust. Not having to make a crust makes them easier to assemble than savory tarts, galettes or pot pies.
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Traditional French gratins are delicious one-pot dishes with a breadcrumb or cheese topping and no bottom crust. Not having to make a crust makes them easier to assemble than savory tarts, galettes or pot pies. And crustless gratins are diet-friendly because they’re generally lower in carbs than their crusted cousins. 

The following gratin recipe showcases spring vegetables highlighted with assertive flavors.

Using a French mandoline helps produce uniform slices of vegetables—and keeps the French spirit of the recipes. But the slicing attachment on a food processor makes a fine substitute. These recipes call for using a 2-quart gratin dish, but you may use any shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Artichoke and Sweet Potato Gratin
Serves 4

Frozen artichoke hearts are superior in taste to canned.

2 tomatoes, one diced and one halved and thinly sliced
2 9-oz. pkg. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 15.5-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled,sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup ground walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil 2-qt. gratin dish.

2. Toss diced tomatoes with artichoke hearts, scallions, 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. oregano and 1/4 tsp. salt in bowl. Set aside. 

3. Put beans, stock, 1/2 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in food processor; purée. Line bottom of dish with half sliced sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and remaining pepper. Spread on bean mixture, add artichoke mixture and cover with potatoes; reserve 20 slices.

4. Arrange tomato slices and remaining sweet potato slices on top, overlapping edges. Brush with remaining oil. Sprinkle with remaining oregano and salt. Dust with pepper. Cover.

5. Bake 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove cover, and sprinkle top with ground walnuts. Bake 15 minutes more, or until topping is golden brown. Wait 10 minutes before serving.  

PER SERVING: 400 CAL; 16G PROT; 11G TOTAL FAT (1.5G SAT. FAT); 63G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 740MG SOD; 18G FIBER; 12G SUGARS