After I came back from Peru, I decided to make some new potato recipes to celebrate my love for potatoes. Peru boasts to have over 1,000 potato varieties and had the chance to eat some of them. Something we noticed from the potatoes we had in Peru is the Peruvian potatoes seem to be denser and drier than potatoes in our neck of the woods.
We might not have such a wide variety, but we sure have available some tasty spuds – the russet being the most popular or ubiquitous of them all.
Ever since the trip I was brainstorming potato ideas and this one was a particular one I wanted to try… a combination of scalloped potatoes and creamed spinach. Two very rich traditionally considered side dishes, blended together to make one killer vegetarian main entrée.
POTATO SPINACH GRATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE
1 small onion, thinly sliced 1 tbs olive oil 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped ½ bag of baby spinach 1 cup heavy cream, divided ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 tbs butter, to grease baking dish 2 large russet potatoes 4 oz fresh goat cheese Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Butter the inside of a 8-by-6-by-2-inch (6-cup) baking dish.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions soften. Add the fresh baby spinach in batches of about 2 handfuls. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet for about a minute to help the spinach wilt and smother itself. Continue adding spinach in increments and smother it so it wilts. Season with salt and pepper after adding each batch of spinach.
- Add ½ cup of heavy cream and stir together with the onion and spinach mixture. Season with grated nutmeg and allow the cream to bubble and reduce to a creamy consistency. This will take about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool off a bit while you work with the potatoes.
- Wash the potatoes well and slice using a mandolin… please be careful and use the guard whenever you use a mandolin to slice anything. Place in a large bowl.
- Mix together the sliced potatoes with the creamed spinach, the ½ cup left of heavy cream, most of the crumbled goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the potato/spinach mixture to the buttered baking dish. It can be messy, but go in batches so you can accommodate the potatoes as flat as possible. Press down to smooth the potatoes and pour all the heavy cream left in the bowl. Place the remaining goat cheese crumbled over the top.
8. Bake for approximately 90 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.
9. Allow to set for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
I make this in my toaster oven. It makes enough for 2 people or for me to eat twice. If you wish to double the recipe, use a 10 x 15 baking dish, same cooking time…