Potato and Apple Gratin
A wintry mix of potatoes, apples and onion, this crisp and creamy gratin relies on the seaweed in Lula N.41, from Lior Lev Servcarz’s La Boîte, to supply both salt and savory notes. No cheese or cream is used, allowing the flavors of peak-season produce to shine through. Your guests will recognize the vegetable combo from those classic applesauce-topped latkes, and you’ll be happy to offer a sophisticated alternative that doesn’t require slaving over a hot stove.
If you don’t have the spice mix, you can make your own by combining 1 teaspoon coarsely ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground kombu and ½ teaspoon coarsely ground fennel, plus ¼ teaspoon fleur de sel.
- 2½ pounds baking potatoes (such as Yukon Gold, Russet and/or Kennebec), peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 2 pounds apples with good acidity (such as Honeycrisp, Winesap and/or Pink Lady), peeled, cored and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, diced
- 2 medium onions, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 2½ teaspoons Lula N.41 blend (or 1 teaspoon coarsely ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground kombu and ½ teaspoon coarsely ground fennel, plus ¼ teaspoon fleur de sel)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet or baking dish and spread half the potatoes in a layer. In another skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter and sauté the onions with the salt over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the onions and arrange in a layer in the skillet, on top of the potatoes, followed by a layer of apples then the remaining potatoes.
- Deglaze the cooking pan with the wine, stock and the spice blend, and cook for another few minutes to slightly reduce. Pour this liquid over the layered dish, cover with a parchment circle cut to fit the skillet or lid and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, dot with the remaining butter and bake (10 to 15 minutes) or broil (timing will vary) until the top is crisp.
- Fun to try:
- • Instead of dotting the top with cold butter, brush with brown butter made with an additional teaspoon of Lula.
- • Serve with a blue cheese sauce.
- • Experiment with other root vegetables and fruit (pears, turnips, sweet potatoes, etc.).
- Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.