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Layered Potato Bake with Fresh Rosemary
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Homey and satisfying
This dish, as many other I habitually make, comes from my childhood. I love the combination of thinly slices potatoes and crisp onion rings. The mix of soya milk, vegetable stock, garlic and olive oil creates a perfect blend of satisfying gooeyness that holds this bake together. Fresh rosemary is a decadent, natural finishing touch.
Layered Potato Bake
Ingredients for Potato Bake
Rosemary loves potatoes
Rosemary loves potatoes, and potatoes love rosemary. In this recipe, I used a fresh, quite sizeable sprig of rosemary. The problem with this particular approach is that firstly, one side of the dish will be more infused with rosemary flavour than the other, and secondly, some rosemary needles will fall off, and some people do not like loose large pieces of herbs in their food. Alternatively, you can use dried rosemary and just sprinkle about 1 tsp rosemary over the potatoes. Dried herbs are always more potent than the fresh.
Ingredients for Potato bake
- 5-6 medium potatoes
- 1 yellow or red onion
- 1 bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed, or 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 cup vegan stock
- 1 cup unsweetened soya milk
- 1/3 cups olive oil
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- salt, pepper, to taste
As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language— Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) British writer, statesman and philosopher
How to lay your potato slices
Before putting in the oven
Serve with salad
How to make Layered Potato Bake
- Peel your potatoes. Slice them very thinly, lengthwise. Some people even use a peeler to achieve the necessary thinness, but I personally feel that is too thin.
- Brush a deep oven casserole with vegetable oil and put a whole (washed) twig of fresh rosemary in it. Alternatively you can sprinkle 1 tsp dried rosemary on the potatoes after you are done with Step 3.
- Start laying out your potato slices in rows. The slices should slightly overlap in every row, and each subsequent row should overlap the one that went before.
- De-seed a bell pepper (I used a green one, but a yellow or a red one would also be great, and slice it into a strips one-third inch wide. Arrange bell pepper strips over the potatoes.
- Slice onion into thin rings, put over the bell pepper strips.
- Mix together vegan stock, soya milk, olive oil and crushed garlic. Add black pepper if desired. Pour over the vegetables.
- Sprinkle olive oil over the dish, cover with foil and put into pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees C.
- Using gloves, carefully take the casserole dish out of the oven, remove the foil and put the dish back in the oven for 20 more minutes until the onion rings start to brown.
Say pork no more
This dish evolved from a hit dish from my childhood birthday parties and special occasions: a bake with pork slices and potatoes. Even as a child I was able to appreciate the clever layers and the fact that both pork and potatoes were sliced so thin. I think every different was potatoes are prepared gives them a new flavour. In this case, potatoes taste at once very pure, like ice sheets crumbling under your teeth, and also infused with overall flavour of the dish.
In the non-vegan version of this bake, the flavour is dominated by cholesterol-rich pork fat, of course. Now I now that it is not necessary to kill animals to cook tasty dishes nor is animal fat the essential carrier of taste. The mix of soya milk, vegan stock and olive oil, while cooking, mixes with fresh rosemary flavour and with potato starch, creating a smooth rich sauce that bring all the ingredients together.
I did not use the quote above for nothing. the fact is, the rosemary that I used in this recipe came from my best friend's garden. Fresh herbs can enliven any dish, cooked or not. Growing fresh herbs can be as easy as installing one or two pots on your kitchen windowsill.
Source of quote
- The Herb Gardener: Rosemary Quotes From Literature
Website that will help you grow herbs, tell you how to and use them in your kitchen, crafts, and herbal remedies.