August 5, 2010 by Flora Dawn
As much as I love scalloped potatoes, with all of fattening cream, butter and gooey cheese, sometimes a lighter, healthier version is nice too.
Martha Stewart has a Lemon and Thyme Potato Gratin in her Comfort Foods cookbook. It isn’t nearly as rich and heavy as tradition potato gratin dishes, but it is still very good and very flavorful.
I am especially impressed that this cooks up nicely in under an hour; if you are familiar with these types of dishes you probably are aware that many require 1.5 hours or more in the oven, making them quite impractical for the busy home cook.
I use my slicing attachment on the food processor to make the potato slices even, not to mention it gets the job done very quickly. If you don’t own a food processor of mandolin, use a sharp knife, and do cut the potatoes into very thin slices or it will be in the oven a very long time.
You are supposed to arrange the top layer of potatoes neatly. I am guessing that is Martha speak for beautiful and worthy or company. I, however, just threw the potatoes in the dish. I believe cooking is an art, but your food doesn’t need to look like it. Feel free to be more elaborate with your potato designs, I am sure Martha would be proud. And although you are supposed to use Yukon gold potatoes, I just used regular old Russet potatoes. Again, not sure Martha would really approve, but it works.
Lemon and Thyme Potato Gratin
- 2 Tb butter, plus more to butter pan
- 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- zest of one lemon (about 2 tsp)
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 cup milk
- Heat oven to 400 with oven rack in center position. Place a baking sheet below to catch any drips.
- Brush a casserole dish with butter and add 1/3 of the potato slices. Sprinkle with thyme and lemon and season with salt and pepper. Dot with butter.
- Add a second layer of potatoes and season. Dot with butter.
- Add remaining potatoes. Pour milk over potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining lemon and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Dot with remaining butter. Cover with foil or oven-proof lid and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove cover and bake 10-20 minutes more, or until the top is golden and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. If potatoes do not have the desired browness, you can place under broiler for several minutes.
- Serve gratin hot.