Potato Leek Gratin

Summary: This is an absolutely delicious, decadent yet humble gratin. It makes for a stellar side dish. I found the recipe in a September 2011 New York Times.

Yield: serves 6-8


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing the dish
  • 2 large leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1½ pounds peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I used ¾ cup cream, 1/4 cup 2% milk)
  • 1 fat garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ - ¾ cup Gruyère, grated


Heat oven to 350° Fahrenheit, and butter a 2-quart gratin dish. Wash the leeks to remove any grit and slice thinly crosswise.

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/8" thick rounds. Toss with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Layer the rounds in the gratin dish. (Em-i-lis note: Don't pour the potatoes in as by this point they will released a decent amount of water and you don't want that soupifying your grating).

Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, remaining salt and pepper, and thyme. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and golden, 5-7 minutess. Discard thyme and scatter the leeks over the potatoes.

Add cream, garlic and bay leaf to the skillet, scraping up browned bits of leeks from the bottom of the pan. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Stir in nutmeg.

Pour the cream mixture over the leeks and potatoes. Top with the shredded Gruyère. Cover with foil and put in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden, 15-20 minutes longer. Let cool slightly before serving.