Adapted from Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington
Might I say that this was an incredible discovery? I was looking through the book my dad bought me at the Mondavi Winery when I came across this one. It was in the section of side dishes but said it could be a vegetarian main course. I loved the combination of vegetables and as we all know anything with cheese is good.
Yield: 6-8 servings (as a main course)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 leeks, light green and white parts only, cleaned and finely chopped
- 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 5 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- Pepper, to taste
- 3 pounds potatoes
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the leeks until softened and lightly caramelized.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté, tossing occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until nicely softened and no liquid remains. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Peel the potatoes. Slice using a food processor or mandoline. Put the potatoes in a clean dishtowel or paper towels and wring out as much liquid as you can.
- In a large saucepan, season the cream with salt and pepper and add the potatoes, separating the pieces as you drop them in. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove the lid and continue simmering until most of the cream has been absorbed.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
- Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- With a large spoon, transfer half the potato mixture to the dish and spread out in an even layer. Layer the mushrooms on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle evenly with half of the cheese. Cover with the remaining potatoes and sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly on top.
- Bake the gratin in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the top is brown and crusty. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
Comments: I think it’s safe to say we all fell in love with this. I made half the recipe for my parents and myself and we had a bit leftover. I made it as a the main coarse but the book suggests serving it as a side dish with grilled steaks or roast chicken. The original recipe calls for 1½ pounds of mixed wild mushrooms which include shiitake, chanterelle, black trumpet, morels, porcini and cremini; I found a 10-ounce box of shiitake and cremini mushrooms which is what I used but you can play around with the mushroom varieties. The recipe also said to use Yukon gold potatoes, which I did not find so I ended up using white potatoes. The original recipe also uses cream instead of milk. It’s probably creamier and definitely richer with cream; you can use just milk like me, half cream and half milk or go all out with the cream. Finally, the recipe calls for 1 cup shredded white truffle cheese; I was unable to find white truffle cheese so I used Gruyère and Parmesan instead. The dish may be made through step 7 up to 4 hours ahead, covered and left at room temperature.