One of my childhood Sunday dinner memories is watching Mom carry a big, rectangular Pyrex glass pan, choke full of love, over to the center of our table. She’d hold tight on either side with oven mitts to keep from scorching her fingers. What was in that steaming hot pan?
Sliced potatoes, layered with onion, a little salt and pepper and margarine, baked to a tender deliciousness with a crispy, browned top.
Such a great dish. And my new Veganized version is ideal for a meal full of comfort,
memories and the flavors of earthy, rich root vegetables.
I’ve been perfecting this childhood memory quite a bit lately in its plain potato with onion version. I’ve tried caramelizing the onion before spreading them throughout the layers. Adding a little red pepper flakes (no not me?) Each time I’ve made this in the past few months, I’ve given an old classic a new twist. This month, I found a fabulous service that delivers fresh veggies to my doorstep each week. (Thanks again Gena for the heads up on From The Farmer DC)
With these deliveries comes a need to make good with, and appreciate what you’ve been blest to receive.
Since the deliveries started, I’ve found my routine turned upside down in the kitchen. I’ve always thought of a dish or recipe I wanted to make up prior to getting the ingredients at the store. I’m fairly strict in my spending when it comes to food and walking through the produce isles. I’m usually full of frustration, wanting to pick up a little of this and a bunch of that….only to settle on just a bit of fresh vegetable that I know I’ll use up within the next few days. Since starting my produce deliveries with From The Farmer DC, my mind has been swirling when I find out what will be in the next delivery bag. What can I make out of those? What will keep in the fridge longest or which dish can I best use up these with? Its really been fun creating and configuring these past few weeks since my deliveries started. My weekend cooking is fueled by all the wonderful local veggies I’ll receive Friday morning. If you have any kind of a local veggie Coop in your area, I highly suggest that you give it a try and see how it will work out for your own kitchen.
My experience so far has been nothing but dreamy….but back to my root veggie roundup……….
Simple to grow in a small pot on a window sill. Once you’ve grown your own, you’ll hate dried in the store jar.
I’ve been growing this little beauty since the spring and it’s now a favorite herb in my cooking. Fresh is definitely the way to go with herbs whenever you can.
I made thyme the background flavor for my root veggie casserole. Combined with a strong dose of black pepper, it mixes beautifully with the textures of the sliced veggies. It will compliment the flavors of the potatoes and bring a little life to the Swiss Chard layered throughout the dish. If you can’t find fresh thyme or don’t want to spend the time or money, dried will do fine but decrease the amount slightly so its not to strong for the taste.
This version of my Mother’s classic (and my husband’s Mother’s classic BTW) has a variety of sliced root vegetables mixed in with the standard red potato layers. Carrots, Sweet Potato and a surprise of beautiful green Swiss Chard. Yellow onions still dot each layer along with a liberal drizzle of spice filled Walnut oil to dress up the dish and flavor each bite. A vegan butter like my favorite Earth Balance would be perfectly acceptable here but I had the walnut oil on hand and it adds a tasty, nutty addition.
- 6 - 8 medium size Red Potatoes
- 1 large Sweet Potato, peeled
- 1 cup of Carrot slices, about 1/8 inch thick
- 1 medium White Onion
- 2 - 3 Swiss Chard leaves, cut the center vain out
- 1/4 cup fresh Thyme twigs / leaves
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup Walnut Oil
- 1 tsp Garlic powder or 2 fresh cloves finely diced
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Black Ground Pepper
- Baking dish with high sides
- Slice Potatoes, Carrots and Onions to 1/8 inch thick. Rinse well and set aside to dry well.
- Mix the Thyme leaves, garlic, salt, and peppers together in a small bowl. You will need a basting brush to apply the oil to the layers.
- Brush the bottom of your pan with a thin coating of the oil mix.
- Make your first layer with Red Potatoes, overlapping some but just covering the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle this first layer with a few of the sliced onion rings. Add your next layer in the same manner.
- I used Sweet Potato next, then brushed on a little more of the oil mix.
- Next arrange a layer of Chard leaves. These wont be flat like the other layers but just try to cover most of the previous layers with the leaves.
- Then a layer of Carrot slices. Another layer of Red Potato. Brush with the oil. Sprinkle on some Onion. A layer of Sweet Potato. A layer of Swiss Chard. Some oil. And your final layer should be Red Potato again brushed with the last amount of your oil mixture.
- Place some foil over the top of your final layer. Press down on the top to flatten and press the layers together firmly. Leave the foil on top while it bakes. Bake covered 375 degrees for 1 hour.
- Remove the foil and then bake for another 10 minutes to brown the top layer. Remove the pan from the oven and let it stand / cool for up to 30 minutes. If you use a spring form pan, be sure to let the dish cool for up to 1 hour before removing the sides so the dish can set up firmly.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- I baked this dish in a spring form pan which allows it to be packed full but still make a nice presentation on the table. Any deep baking dish will do of course as long as it has sides at least 2 1/2 - 3 inches high on the sides. The dish improves with a little age, 3 - 4 days in the fridge is fine and just adds to the sturdy texture of the layers. Don't like chard or carrots? Substitute any number of sliced vegetables in this. Do watch for veggies with a high water content as they will dilute your seasonings and make the form more mushy for unmolding the casserole. Have fun and make it your own classic dinner dish!
A wonderful childhood memory reborn, a little kinder, a little spicier, a lot more healthy for the soul.
Thanks for stopping by Canned Time.
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