Food & Drink

Two-potato gratin is rich but won’t make you feel overindulged

Parmesan sage crusted sweet potato gratin combines slices of Yukon gold with sweet potatoes in a layered, panko-topped dish.
Parmesan sage crusted sweet potato gratin combines slices of Yukon gold with sweet potatoes in a layered, panko-topped dish. Kansas City Star

Two potatoes are better than one.

The Kansas City Star’s Parmesan Sage Crusted Sweet Potato Gratin combines slices of Yukon gold with sweet potatoes in a layered, breadcrumb-topped dish known as “au gratin.”

Au gratins are typically starchy vegetable dishes topped with cream or milk and liberal amounts of cheese. For instance, the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s recipe for Perfect Potato au Gratin uses 3 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of whole milk and 2 cups of cheddar cheese.

Granted, it serves 16, but still. With a few healthful substitutions, you can wind up with a rich and delicious version that won’t make you feel like you’ve overindulged.

We use a low-sodium chicken broth and, instead of high-calorie soft cheeses, we went with Parmesan, a cheese surprisingly high in calcium.

Shopping tip: The recipe was tested with soft sweet potatoes, which have copper-colored skin and deep orange-colored flesh and cook up soft and moist. Sometimes, these are labeled yams. This variety cooks more quickly than drier, firmer-textured ones. If you use the firmer variety, you may need to slightly adjust the cooking time.

Vegetarian tip: Chicken broth is generally lighter in color than many vegetable broths. For a vegetarian dish, you may substitute reduced-sodium vegetable broth or stock, but the finished dish may be a little darker due to the color of the broth.

PARMESAN SAGE CRUSTED SWEET POTATO GRATIN

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salt, to taste

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 ounces each)

1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is just crisp-tender, about two to three minutes. Add broth, thyme, pepper and salt. Heat two to three minutes or until broth is steaming.

Arrange potato slices evenly in the prepared pie plate, overlapping slices. Pour the hot broth and onion mixture over the potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together panko crumbs, Parmesan, sage and butter. Uncover potatoes and sprinkle crumbs evenly over the top. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and potatoes are tender. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 158 calories (26 percent from fat), 5 g total fat (2 g saturated), 8 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 113 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber.

Recipe developed exclusively for the Star by Kansas City-based professional home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

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