Scalloped Potato and Tomato Casserole
Serves 4 to 6
This recipe, which came from my mother, is an easy and absolutely scrumptious dish for a family meal or special occasion. It is also perfect for a potluck event since it is still very good at room temperature. Unlike most 'scalloped' potato recipes, such as the one in the similar and related recipes links, this does not use a cream sauce. That means that it is much lighter but no less delicious. And, unlike most potato dishes, the casserole is very good leftover, reheated or not. Although I usually serve this as a side dish, it makes a great vegetarian main dish with cooked greens or a salad on the side.
- 2 large cloves garlic, halved
- 3 medium potatoes, about 1 pound, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3 medium tomatoes, about 1-1/2 pounds, sliced 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
- 3 red onions, about 1 pound, sliced very thin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, preferably white extra-sharp
Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a 12x8-inch or similar size casserole and rub all over with the cut garlic. Reserve the garlic and mince for later use.
In a small bowl, combine tarragon, basil, parsley and minced garlic; mix well. In prepared casserole, layer potatoes, a sprinkling of the herb mixture, salt, pepper and a little nutmeg, then onion, then tomatoes. Sprinkle each layer of tomatoes with a little salt. Repeat layering, ending with tomatoes. Dot with butter. Bake, tightly covered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until potatoes are just tender. (Time will vary with type and thickness of potatoes.) Remove cover, sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted.
Notes: Mom usually baked this in what I believe was an 8x8-inch casserole with high sides, which resulted in a thicker product. I prefer for the casserole to have a few less layers, which is why I use the larger dish. Either works well and it is a matter of choice. The original recipe called for dried tarragon and basil because, at the time, fresh were not easy to find, but fresh can be substituted as indicated.