Leftover Bread Series Part II: Herbed Sweet Potato Gratin
Post by Molly
While this certainly isn’t a Georgian delicacy, this dish is one of those great reminders that vegetables are most fun to eat when layered neatly between heaps of oily breadcrumbs. A hearty side or a perfectly light dinner on its own, this gratin can be prepared all year long by subbing sweet potato for summer squash or zucchini, and the earthy herbs for brighter ones like basil, parsley, or chives.
No matter the season, it seems those odd shaped pieces of crusty bread always find their way to the back of the pantry or the bottom of that sad looking ziplock in the freezer behind the mochi ice cream. Now’s as good a time as any to collect them all, cover in oil and salt, broil on high, and blitz them into golden nibs of toasted confetti, ready to be sprinkled atop most anything.
Prep: 25 minutes / Cook: 50 minutes / Serves: 12 as a side / Adapted from Casa Yellow
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 1/2 cups chopped herbs (I used rosemary, oregano, and thyme)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 6-8 small sweet potatoes (or squash of your liking)
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (stale bread torn into 1-inch cubes, drizzled with olive oil and salt, lightly toasted, and blended in a food processor)
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 cup grated Parmesan or other hard, salty cheese
- Chili flakes
- Salt and pepper
WHAT YOU DO:
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Lightly pulse the herbs in a food processor with half the garlic, olive oil, sherry, and a bit of black pepper. Set aside.
- Slice sweet potatoes into 1/8-inch thick rounds (I kept the skins on, but you can remove if you like).
- Toss the rounds in a bowl with a few pinches of salt. Let sit for 3 minutes.
- Add the onions, remaining garlic, chili flakes, 1/2 cup herb mixture, and some more pepper.
- Toss in the cheese and half the breadcrumbs, tasting and seasoning as you go.
- Assemble sweet potato rounds and all of their coating in a 9-inch Pyrex dish or cast-iron skillet.
- Top with remaining breadcrumbs, and bake for 50 minutes, or until the squash is tender and top is golden brown.