Cook. Nourish. Heal. Celebrate.

Posts tagged as gratin

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 22, 2013 at 7:38pm

Brussels Sprouts Gratin | Fresh TartI’m always trying to find things to douse in Cedar Summit cream, because let’s face it, I’m obsessed with the gloriously grass-fed stuff. Given a giant bag of darling little baby Brussels from the farmers market, and a hankering for my fave cauliflower gratin, I present the easiest, coziest Brussels dish in the world. I have a vision of setting this on a holiday table (particularly next to a roast beast), nestled among candles and pine boughs…although until the holidays roll around, I simply made it my dinner, with toast and a glass of wine.

Note: I am thoroughly enjoying the occasional slice of St. Paul’s own Thuro Sourdough Gluten-Free Teff bread. The Thuro folks have no idea who I am, I just happened to pick up a loaf in the freezer at The Wedge, in my quest for tasty GF breads made without weird fillers and nasty vegetables oils, which is no easy task. It’s seriously sour, which I love, and makes a flavorful, chewy piece of toast, toast that in fact makes me pine – again – for dearly departed, grass-fed Pastureland butter, which used to be made from Cedar Summit Cream.

Obsessed, I tell you.Brussels Sprouts Gratin | Fresh TartAnd another note: I recently devoured the book Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan, MD. I understand completely if you are not in the mood for yet another book about nutrition but…I still think you should read it, especially if you’re considering a pregnancy. I found myself reading several passages aloud to Puppy Louis, who now knows more about genetics than the average fluffy pup. I also found myself snapping iPhone pics of pages off my Kindle, for a potentially annoying way of sharing passages that blew my mind. Dr. Shanahan describes what she calls The Four Pillars of traditional diets around the world, the ways of eating that have produced the genetically healthiest people over millenia: meat cooked on the bone, a combination of raw and cooked plants, offal/organ meats, and fermented foods. She makes a strong case for avoiding vegetable oils and sugar in particular – a very strong case. Dr. Shanahan recently revamped the training diet of the injury-plagued LA Lakers and has helped several players heal nagging injuries. Good stuff.

Recipe for Brussels Sprouts Gratin at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Tomato Gratin Stew: Tomato Party Part II and…What Am I?

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:23am

Tomato Gratin StewSo Stephanie, what do you do?

That question causes my throat to close. What on earth do I say? I’ve said food blogger a few times, just to watch eyes glaze over. Food writer, photographer, event organizer, recipe developer, and cooking instructor most often tumble out, in some combination, but that feels like a task list, like a chef saying, “I’m a menu planner, trainer, supervisor, food purchaser, and cook.”

That’s silly.

So food world, what’s the new title? The one that hasn’t been invented yet? I’m certainly not the only food blogger out there who is working on a cookbook, organizing events, promoting my local food community, teaching classes, doing media appearances, styling photo shoots, connecting with people through social media, partnering with brands and businesses, and advocating for the simple beauty and incredible power of real food, cooked at home.

Food influencer? Food educator? Food maniac?

While we think about it, here’s a pitch for an old-fashioned grandma sort of recipe. My friend Imen McDonnell, she of the stunning blog Farmette, tweeted recently about how she grew up eating tomatoes: with cream and sugar. I love the idea, and had it tucked in the back of my mind (waiting for tomatoes to start showing up here, LATE), when I remembered this recipe for Tomato Gratin Stew in Marion Cunningham’s wonderful cookbook, Lost Recipes. Isn’t that just the best name – gratin stew? J’adore a creamy tomato soup, a little bit sweet, so I think of this as a warm version of Imen’s growing-up favorite meets baked cream of tomato soup.Tomato Gratin StewYou can certainly keep it as pared down as the original recipe, but after making this a few times, I do like it with a bit of garlic and fresh herbs. I used gluten-free bread for the topping which worked just fine. I think you could also skip the bread topping and serve this over a piece or two of hearty, toasted bread, or a slab of warm corn bread, plunked down right in the middle of your bowl. The cream reduced with the tomatoes’ juices is truly divine and worthy of something starchy to sop it up. That said, if avoiding things starchy – as I generally do – creamy tomato juice on a spoon alone is perfectly loverly. Serve with a crunchy salad to balance the soft, warm richness of the tomatoes.

For Tomato Party Part I, see my recipe for Green Gazpacho with Fried Shrimp (below).

Tomato Gratin Stew
Adapted from Lost Recipes by Marion Cunningham
Serves 6

4 Tbsp. butter, divided
4 lbs. garden-ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh basil
coarse sea salt or kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. maple syrup
1 c. heavy cream
2 c. fresh bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a tart pan or shallow casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and set aside.

Sprinkle the minced garlic over the bottom of the dish. Add one layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle with some of the fresh basil, a bit of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and dot with a few pieces of the 2 tablespoons of cut up butter. Repeat layering and seasoning the rest of the tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and cream and pour over and around the tomatoes.

In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir in the bread crumbs, thyme, and salt to taste. Pat breadcrumb mixture on top of the tomatoes.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving in shallow bowls, with spoons.

Cauliflower Gratin

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on May 20, 2012 at 5:25pm

cauliflower gratin mfk fisher

Perhaps it’s cliche that I read MFK Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me and wanted to immerse myself in the world of food, but that’s OK. Who wouldn’t want to do exactly that after reading that sexy, scrumptious book? My goodness that woman could write, my mouth waters (and my heart swoons) just thinking about it.

There’s one passage in particular that has had me making simple cauliflower gratins for years. I purposely don’t look back at the specifics, I just count on how incredible she made cauliflower roasted with cream and Gruyere sound, swiped through with crusty bread and enjoyed with cold wine.


So here’s my version, so simple, so completely gluten-free, so much better than the pasta dish I served to Nathan and John tonight (in my opinion). I threw in some arugula leaves this evening because I had them, but you wouldn’t need to include them.

Cauliflower Gratin
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main course

1 Tbsp. soft butter
1 head cauliflower, cored, separated into 1-inch florets
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. heavy cream
fresh whole nutmeg
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 c. freshly grated Gruyere, Parmesan, or other favorite cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Smear soft butter into a tart pan. Sprinkle minced garlic across the bottom of the pan.

Bring a large pot of nicely salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower and boil for 3-5 minutes, until cauliflower is tender-crisp. Drain thoroughly in a colander, then transfer cauliflower to tart pan, distributing evenly.

Pour cream over cauliflower. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the cauliflower, then sprinkle lightly with a little salt and several grinds of black pepper. Top with cheese.

Bake gratin for 40-45 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Red Cabbage & Squash Gratin

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:27am

cabbage squash gratin

I made this colorful dish for Christmas dinner and am just getting around to sharing it with you now. I’d like to say that I sat down and thought about everyone’s favorite vegetables and what would be pretty with the rest of the meal but honestly…I got rushed, and behind, and realized awfully late that I’d said I would bring a vegetable dish out to my Aunt Mary’s farm. I was grateful to find a kabocha squash, a head of red cabbage, and a spot of Parmesan cheese in the cooler.

Merry Christmas to me! Seriously.

When I bring a dish to someone else’s home, my goal is for it to be at least partially prepared ahead of time to minimize freaking the hostess out with the need for a cutting board, pans, and precious space on a crowded cooktop. I also knew that our meal was going to be awfully rich – standing rib roast, creamy potatoes, all the goodness of a holiday meal. This gratin exists in the realm of a pan of sauteed vegetables, with just a bit of cheese to tie it all together.

If you haven’t roasted a kabocha squash before, you’re in for such a treat! The rind is quite soft – edible even, although I confess I have yet to eat it myself – and the flesh is flavorful, smooth, and just-sweet. I predict it will be your favorite new squash. The play of smooth, sweet squash with still-crunchy cabbage is lovely with a roast. Or atop polenta for a meatless dinner.

Recipe for Red Cabbage & Squash Gratin at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

White Bean Gratin

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on May 9, 2011 at 12:50pm

white bean gratin

If you love cookbooks, and don’t own Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin, add it to your list.  Everything in it is delicious, fresh, approachable.  Some of the recipes are longish, but not terribly complicated, and hey, sometimes greatness takes a little effort.  I’m down with that.

Like this bean gratin.  It’s quite simple, really, it just requires a bit of forethought.

The recipe is written for flageolet beans, the traditional cassoulet bean.  If you’re organized, and planning ahead, put your hands on flageolets because I’ve made this gratin with them, and by substituting navy beans, and honestly, the flageolets have it.  Their texture is firmer, their flavor more pronounced.  That said, the gratin is awfully delicious made with navy beans as well.

white bean gratin

This gratin is meatless, and could be easily made vegan (use olive oil for the breadcrumbs), but is so loaded with flavor that you’ll wonder…hmmm…are you sure there’s not a spot of duck fat in there somewhere?  A smidge of lamb?  Baaaaa?  The crusty top is the perfect foil for creamy beans, and the caramelized onions scattered on the bottom are as delightful to discover as your high school crush on Facebook.


I apologize for the rather lame pics – I made this dish for a group of lady food blogger friends, and was chatting and sipping bubbles and not very focused (pun!) on my camera.  In addition to the beans, I made a mess of pork ribs – pork-n-beans! – but the rest of the meal was gorgeously filled out by my guests.

Here’s a tip: Invite food bloggers to your next potluck dinner.  Wow the deliciousness.

kale salad

Kale Salad with Apples, Pecans & Smoked Cheese from Kelli Abrahamian of I Had a Delicious Time.

shaina olmanson baguette

Homemade baguette from Shaina Olmanson of Food for My Family.

cheese log with sunflower seeds, honey, blackberries

Sweet-and-Salty Honey-Cheese Spread from Brenda Score of A Farm Girl’s Dabbles.

I did not photograph (insert head slap, then see above chatting and sipping) the bounty of olives, almonds, and cheeses brought by Kate Selner of Kate In the Kitchen.  I also forgot to snap pics of the Cheesecake in a Jar brought by Amanda Rettke of I Am Baker, gorgeously labeled and filled with creamy-dreamy heaven (check out the pics on her site – swoon).  Amanda also shared her darling new Baby Eddie!  Seriously yum, both the cheesecake and Eddie.

Thanks ladies!

White Bean Gratin
From Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
Serves 6

7 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small sprig rosemary
1 chile de arbol, crumbled (substitute a pinch of cayenne)
1/2 c. diced onion, plus 5 c. thinly sliced onions
1/2 c. diced fennel
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. thyme leaves, divided
1 1/2 c. dried flageolets (or navy beans)
5 Tbsp. butter
2 c. fresh breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free bread)
2 tsp. chopped parsley
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Heat a medium pot over high heat for 2 minutes.  Pour in 4 Tbsp. of the olive oil, and add the rosemary sprig and crumbled chile.  Let them sizzle in the oil a minute.  Add the diced onion, fennel, garlic, 1 Tbsp. thyme, and the bay leaf, sitrring a minute or two, until the onion is wilted.  Add the flageolets, and cook a few more minutes, stirring to coat the beans with the oil.

Cover the beans with water by 3 inches and bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn the heat down to low, and place a paper towel over the beans to keep them under the surface.  Simmer for 30 minutes, then add 3 tsp. of (Kosher) salt to the beans.  Continue cooking on a low simmer about 1 hour, until the beans are tender.  As the beans cook, add water as necessary (but don’t add too much – you want these juices to be rich and a little starchy, since they will be an important part of the finished gratin).  Remove the beans from the heat, discard the paper towel, and let them cool in their juices.  Taste for seasoning.

While the beans cook, caramelize the sliced onions.  Heat a large saute pan or Dutch oven over high heat for a minute.  Swirl in the remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil, and add the sliced onions, 2 tsp.thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.  Cook 6 minutes, stirring often.  Turn the heat down to medium, and stir in 1 Tbsp. butter.  Cook 15 minutes, stirring often and scraping with a wooden spoon, until the onions start to caramelize.  Turn the heat down to low, and continue to cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are a deep golden brown.  Spread the onions on the bottom of a 9×9-inch (or equivalent) gratin dish.  Spoon the flageolets into the grain dish with a good amount of their cooking juices.  The beans will expand a little as they bake, so fill the gratin dish only three-quarters full (reserve any extra beans for use in another dish).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl with the remaining tsp. of thyme and the chopped parsley.  Melt the remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook about 3 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter browns and smells nutty.  Pour the brown butter over the breadcrumbs, let cool a minute or two, and toss to combine.

Sprinkle the brown butter breadcrumbs over the beans, and bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the gratin is bubbling, nicely browned, and crispy on top.