So far the weather this year has been fickle. Snow, melt, snow melt, 1 day cold, 1 day warm… even the birds’ chirping has been tentative as if they are unsure if they didn’t return north too soon.
Local produce here in Germany remains decisively wintery except for the wonderful citrus produce from Spain and their loads of zucchini whose prices are finally going down as the crop increases through natural warmth.
The need for hearty dishes to bring comfort against the cold, damp and endlessly grey weather remains. And gratins are always perfect comforters.
I whipped up this little number and it was so tasty I made it again just to be sure. As many comfort foods it was even more delicious the next day – if you can save some!
Potato Zucchini and Pork Sausage Gratin with Herbes de Provence
- 750 grams / 1.65 pounds potatoes – I used the beautiful and tasty French red ones – perfect for gratins
- 1 large zucchini
- 400 grams / 14 ounces or 4 sausages of raw pork sausages – meat removed from the casings
- 250 ml / 2 cups cream
- 150 grams / 5.3 ounces herb cream cheese
- 50 grams / ½ cup of grated gratin cheese such as Gruyere
- 1 medium-sized onion
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Chili flakes
- Dried herbes de Provence
Putting it all together:
Wash the potatoes thoroughly and brush them clean if necessary. Use the slicing side of your grater or a mandolin to make very thin slices. Places them in cold water until ready to use. You can peel the potatoes if you prefer.
Wash the zucchini and cut off the stem. Slice the zucchini in the same way as the potatoes and set aside.
Peel and chop the onion.
Whisk the cream and the herb cream cheese together.
In a frying pan heat some olive oil and stir fry the zucchini and ½ the chopped onion with salt, pepper and a good few dashes of herbes de Provence about four minutes so that it is just softened. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Put more oil into the pan and fry up the sausage meat and the other half of the onion, adding ground pepper and a pinch or two of chili flakes and herbes de Provence. Break up the sausage meat while frying with a fork so that you get smaller pieces. It takes about 6 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through.
Preheat the oven to 200° C / 400° F
Strain the potato slices.
Rub a gratin dish with olive oil and sprinkle salt over the oil.
Add about ½ of the potato slices so that the bottom of the gratin dish is covered. Now add ½ of the zucchini spreading is over the potato slices. Top with all the pork sausage and then the other ½ of the potato slices. Top this with the rest of the zucchini.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the gratin and top with the grated cheese.
Cover the gratin with aluminum foil and bake 50 minutes in the oven.
Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until the top is crunchy.
Serve and enjoy.
If your gratin is still a bit runny use bread to dip up the sauce or just a teaspoon.
The leftovers of this gratin are amazingly tasty the next day.