Taste & Create: Rustic Potato Summer Gratin

The week flew by, and I had an enjoyable, but rather uneventful weekend. We watched the movie There Will Be Blood. Has anyone else seen that? It was good, but totally mental! We also went out one night to one of our favorite restaurants, sat with a view of the giant fish tank, savored hearty sesame-ahi tuna wraps (I need to make those at home), and sipped on a couple of MGD 64’s. I know, woo! Don’t lose control there. Aside from that, there was a nice long walk, a good cardio workout, an hour of stretch, and … I made a delicous Potato Gratin, rich with tomatoes, onions, and garlic.

You didn’t think I was going to get to the food did you? Well, this dish is actually a take on my partner’s recipe from Taste & Create, food blogger Kendall at Res-O-Puh-Leese.

I had a doozy of a time picking a recipe, as there were so many to choose from buried within her blog, but I eventually settled on the Potato, Tomato, and Garlic Gratin.

Of course, since this recipe was already tested and approved as is, I decided to play around with it a little; within reason of course. Kendall isn’t a fan of onions, but I am, so I referenced the original recipe to add those babies back in. I took the fats down, as some of the oil seemed a bit unnecessary (no compromise there!), and I simplified a few of the steps (she is quite the gourmet!) for my simple kitchen style. In the end, I renamed it a “Rustic” gratin, because I like my potatoes unpeeled. The skin adds so much wonderful flavor and texture. The “Summer” part came from the use of fresh tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.

Here is a close-up just before I popped it in the oven …

rustic potato gratin close

Now, I ran into one little glitch. Those potatoes on top crisp up and start to blacken well before the potatoes are done. At 45 minutes, I took it out, turned those top potatoes over, and popped it back in. You can do this, or try the untested tip which I include at the end of the recipe. I think it will work just fine.

The end result was rich, delicious, and completely gone in one meal (Thank you Kendall!) …

rustic potato gratin

Oh yes, would you like the recipe?


Recipe: Rustic Potato Summer Gratin

Summary: ReAdapted from Res-o-puh-leese, which was adapted from Simply French by Patricia Wells & Joel Robuchon.


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Sea Salt, to taste (1/2 t is probably enough, but I went overboard with 1 t, and we loved it!)
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 lb Ripe Tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded & chopped (See note below. I used fresh, but you can substitute 1 14.5-ounce can of drained diced tomatoes in a pinch)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Honey (can sub agave nectar to keep it vegan)
  • 1.5 lbs Baking Potatoes (nice big Russets!)
  • 3 Teaspoons Dairy-Free Margarine, divided (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free, but you can substitute more olive oil)
  • 3/4 Cup Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley, snipped
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and allow it to cook and thicken for about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  3. Meanwhile, prep those potatoes! Give them a good scrub. I leave them unpeeled for that “rustic” effect, but peel them if you must. Thinly slice the potatoes (about 1/4-inch worked for me). Set aside about 1/4 to 1/3 of the potatoes in a medium-sized bowl to use as the topping.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining potatoes with the sauce and toss carefully to blend.
  5. Liberally rub the bottom of a 9″ pie dish (or similarly sized oven-safe dish) with 1 teaspoon of the margarine, or oil if using instead.
  6. Transfer the potato-tomato mixture to the baking dish, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Add the broth to cover.
  7. Add the remaining 2 teaspons of margarine (or oil) and the parsley to the reserved potatoes for the topping. Toss to coat evenly.
  8. Arrange the “buttered” potato slices one by one atop the potato-tomato mixture in your baking dish (in an overlapping pattern), until the entire dish is covered with an even potato layer. Sprinkle with the thyme.
  9. Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake until the potatoes are soft, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the top is golden, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check in after 40 minutes. If those potatoes on top are crisping too fast, turn them over to cook the other sides, and return to the oven. Serve immediately.

Quick notes

Peeling Tomatoes: Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to hold all the tomatoes. Cut a slit in the skin of each tomato from top to bottom, and drop them all into the boiling water. Leave them in the boiling water for approximately 1 minute before removing each tomato with a slotted spoon and placing it immediately in the bowl of cold water. As soon as the tomato is cool enough to touch, remove the skin, which will now slide away easily.


Alternate Baking Method: If you run into the potato crisping problem I had, try this … reduce the broth to 1/2 to 2/3 cup, and bake for just 45 minutes to 1 hour. I think this timing will work well, since the potatoes are definitely done by 1 hour but with 3/4 cup broth, it isn’t all absorbed.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 90 minute(s)

Diet tags: Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, Low Sugar, and optionally Vegan and Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

rustic potato gratin uncooked

Blog Events: I submitted this recipe post to Friday Foodie Fix (Thyme) at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

25 thoughts on “Taste & Create: Rustic Potato Summer Gratin

  1. Oh my gosh the final product looks SO SO SO ridiculously delicious!!! It’s making my mouth water!!

  2. It looks really good–I love all your changes and that you left the peels on.

    There Will Be Blood is pretty different!

  3. Those look so good! I refrain from the white potato as it falls under the white food category in my world, but they are a once-in-awhile treat. These look like a crunchy good way to eat them!

  4. This looks quite tasty! It seems like you had a fun weekend. I think a tip for preventing the tops from burning would be to cook them covered in aluminum foil for the first half and then uncover them. At least that’s what my mom always tells me. What a great recipe, however!

  5. Yum!!! We love gratins! Will have to try this one!

  6. omg. the picture of the baked version looks SO good. i love that the recipe is dairy-free. lots of vegetarian cookbooks contain gratins because it’s something easy and they assume that every vegetarian eats dairy all the time. thanks!

  7. Thanks Joanne! If you do opt to try it covered, make sure you lessen the broth by quite a bit. The broth boils off while cooking, intensifying the flavor. If it is covered than the steam won’t be able to escape. Perhaps some tin foil with slits in it? Also, if covered, lower the time too, by at least 15 minutes I would say, maybe a bit more.

  8. This looks really delicious. I’m with you – I generally prefer my potatoes with the skins on. It’s the best part of the potato!

  9. This turned out beautiful! I always have such trouble getting my potatoes to brown up as I would like them to!

    Great suggestion for peeling tomatoes… I will definitely be trying!

  10. That looks yummy!!!

    Where do you get soy-free Earth Balance? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it around here. Is it in the sticks or in a tub?

  11. I really like your version so much better than the only one I have. Yours looks so savory and perfeclty browned.

  12. The beauty of a crispy topped potato gratin!

  13. That looks fabulous! I love how crisp and brown the potatoes look.

  14. how odd i found this post. i was just wondering if i would be able to pull off making gratin potatoes, i used to love them! thanks for the recipe. and i have been wanting to watch that movie but wasn’t sure if it was any good. i’ll check it out!

  15. This gratin looks delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂

  16. Looks incredible! And I think the crispy bits are the best part. 🙂

  17. A gorgeous potato gratin, looks perfectly delicious!

  18. This looks amazing! So glad you enjoyed the recipe and I really like the changes you made.

    Thanks also for your helpful suggestions! I now wonder if it was so liquidy due to the melted chocolate (I bet it added more oil than the cookies could handle). Still, they were so so delicious, and I loved the smoothness of the melted chocolate. If I were to recreate it, I think I would go with your suggestion to slowly add the milk until it was the right consistency.

  19. Beautiful dish girlfriend! Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  20. OOOOHHHH those looks so incredible I could eat them through the screen!

  21. This looks really good. I used up all of my potatoes this week so I hope to get more with my CSA tomorrow. I’ve made similar dishes before and would cover them for the first 3/4 of the cooking and then uncover and let them brown up at the end. If I don’t mine always get too brown.

  22. I found you by virtue of Justine and just commented on your powerbar post, but just wanted to say rock on, I am so glad you have a whole blog devoted to the dairy-free crowd. And since I am vegan, DF, GF, and SF, I need all the resources I can get!

  23. Mmmm that looks SO good!!!

  24. Mmmm, looks good! I might make this for my mother one day. She’s weary of all things vegan, but I’m sure I can win her over with this!

  25. Thank you for sharing this on Friday Foodie Fix.

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