Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tian de Legumes

One of my favorite dishes is this "Tian de Legumes"- which is really just French for vegetable casserole, the recipe comes out of the Simply Slow Cooking cookbook by Joanne Glynn, it really doesn't take long to make and can be done in advance but it does take forever in the oven so- plan ahead.

I decided last week that I was going to make this for this week's blog. I started it on Friday night, but then in the middle of slicing the potatoes Scott called me to meet him at the church. I covered the first layer of potato with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. We ended up staying at the church until about 6:30-7pm, so we went out to eat. I finished the casserole on Saturday and then heated it up to have after church on Sunday. Normally this does not take me 3 days to make, but the moral of the story is that you can do it- and that you can do it ahead of time.

Also, you might notice that in some of the pictures it looks like the casserole is just a mountain in the dish-well again it is not normally that way. This recipe makes 6-8 servings and I forgot that I normally cut the recipe in half and then make it in my gratin dish. I remembered after it was to ate but as my husband's family would say, "It ate the same".

1 lb 2oz sweet potato
2 lb 12 0z potato
4 large leeks
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3 bay leaves
10 1/2 oz cream

Preheat the oven to 325*F.

Start by slicing the leeks. Now, if you've not worked much with leeks they can be kind of tricky. Leeks are an allium so they are in part of the same family as garlic and onion; as a result they contain many of the same health benefits. Due to the fact that leeks typically grow in sandy soil, when preparing them you want to be careful to wash them properly. Oddly, you want to wash leeks after you slice them.

While your leeks are soaking, peel and thinly slice your potatoes. I used a mandoline for this, which I recommend because it makes life so easy but it's not necessary. Then arrange half the potatoes/ sweet potatoes in layers on the bottom of your dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, some nutmeg and some garlic.

Lift the leeks out of the water and dry. Layer the leeks, bay leaves, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Layer the rest of the potatoes and sweet potatoes over the leeks. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Finally, pour the cream over the casserole.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 1/2- 3 hours so that the vegetables are tender. Uncover and bake for an additionally 1/3 hour.
***When I did this in advance, I only baked it covered and then reheated it uncovered for 45 minutes.

You can serve this as a side dish but I rather like it as the main dish for a light meal. I accompany this then with a salad. Today I made a mixed green salad with pear, bacon, raisins, almond slices, goat cheese with a ginger-curry-sesame oil vinaigrette.

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