My favorite Italian side dish is this! Potato and leek gratin! Simple and easy the Italian way. And, leftovers are the bomb!
Potato and Leek Recipes
Full confession. I love potatoes! Yes, I’m thinking I have a sliver, albeit not much, of Irish in me!
And, there’s nothing better than the combination of potatoes and leeks. Of course, potatoes and rosemary also are absolutely stunning and delicious. Perfect for the holiday meal.
Best Italian Potato and Leek Casserole
Making this dish is relatively simple. Another easy popular and unique recipe with potatoes that I love, my Salt and Vinegar Roasted Smashed Potatoes!
The most difficult part is slicing the potatoes. I’ve done it by hand slicing them pretty thinly. NOt all of the slices are even and standard, but that’s no problem.
Another option that will help give immense flavor to the Yukon gold potatoes is to use a mandolin. There is no way to slice them paper thin without a mandolin.
Italian Potato Casserole
The only caveat, and it’s a very important one, is that unless you’re very very very careful, you can hurt yourself!
Wearing protective gloves is a MUST in slicing these potatoes. Do NOT compromise and think that you can get by without wearing them. It’s not worth the risk.
If you don’t have protective gloves and/or a mandolin, then check my Amazon Storefront. Order and make it part of your cooking equipment. You’ll use the mandolin for so many other things.
Italian Potato Side Dish
My Easy Italian Potatoes give you an idea of the mandolin sliced potatoes. Yes, it’s similar to this dish minus the leeks but using sweet onions.
Italy is one of our favorite places to visit. And, over the decades we’ve probably spent almost a year or more, collectively, in Italy.
Ben and I travel simply. We want to experience the real life of Italy.
Oh, yes, we love to see the beauty of this ancient country, but our favorite way to absorb Italy in through the food and people.
And, be assured that we have tried so many dishes in the area of Tuscany. And, I always go back to the basics. Leeks and potatoes.
Recipes with Leeks and Potatoes
Leeks are a glorious vegetable. With a mildly sweet flavor, they remind me of things like shallots, garlic, chives and sweet onions.
Very similar to onions, they’re used like onions, in soups, stews, pot roasts, casseroles and other long cooked dishes.
Leeks are a perfect pairing with potatoes. One of the big things about leeks is the dirt. Yes, as they grow, dirt accumulates in, on, between and all through the layers of the leeks.
Italian Style Potatoes
Here’s how I make sure I remove the grit and dirt from my leeks. First I do a good rinse and wash gently pulling back the outer layers of the leeks.
Then I will remove the outer most layer of the mostly green part of the leeks and sometimes two layers especially if they’re very dry and worn looking. Next I trim the root end off and about 1-2″ of the green part of the leeks. I’ll again rinse and pull back some of the layers looking for hidden dirt to rinse off.
Sometimes I’ll slice down the center making two long pieces of the leek and rinse them once again. Be sure to get in between the layers as much as possible.
After that, I’ll slice my leeks for this recipe.
Potato Leek Gratin
You’ll want to make this recipe a staple for your holiday table! Of course, I make them on a regular basis because they’re just so darn delicious! And, not to worry about leftovers, these warm up so well and can even get a tad bit more crispy in a hot skillet!
- 6-7 cups of Yukon potatoes, thinly sliced by hand
- 5-6 medium sized leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced, including some of the green part
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cups parmesan Reggiano, divided
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400
- Drizzle about two tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the baking dish. Add a little more than half of the potatoes to the dish. Pat down. Salt and pepper well.
- Add about 3/4 cup of the parmesan then top with the leeks (pat down) and a good drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle on about half cup of the parmesan.
- Put the remaining potatoes on top. Salt and pepper, olive oil and the remaining parmesan and one last drizzle all over of olive oil.
- Cover with parchment paper and a lid. Put on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 over about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the lid and parchment paper. Turn oven to broil (dish should be at least 12" from broiler) and brown the top potatoes a few minutes. Remove. Cool somewhat. Ready to serve.
The entire recipe uses about 1/2 cup of olive oil. It's hard to say how much precisely each time you use it. The drizzles lightly cover the potatoes and leeks each time. You might use a little less or a little more than 1/2 cup.
If there are leftovers, refrigerate. To heat, put in a non-stick skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, cover with a lid and heat on medium low. They're absolutely divine reheated!