I am a bit obsessed with dauphinoise, if I see it on a menu I will normally choose it and I make it fairly regularly at home too. I first thought about making a pesto dauphinoise a few weeks ago when I make a pesto cream sauce to accompany a pasta dish. I love basil, I think its my favourite herb and if I can incorporate it into one of my dishes then I will. I don’t think a recipe idea has paid off so well for me before. This is one of the best things I have eaten in a reallllly long time. Its indulgent, comforting and fresh all in one go. In fact half of the dish was gone within about 25 minutes after it was removed from the oven..oops.
This recipe is not low fat in the slightest and as I said really, really indulgent so perhaps don’t eat it every day but every now and again DO IT.
I used this recipe as a chance to start working on my knife skills, I wish I was a little more confident and quicker with chopping and dicing but I am not! I need to practise, practise, practise. I have been sent a new knife to work with from Zwilling and its a bit awesome. It has a scalloped, hollow edge and it feels like a quality knife but its not too heavy, its easy to use and although super sharp I feel more comfortable using it than I do with my other knives. I used it to get thinly sliced onions and to slice my potatoes as well as to dice my garlic. The one I have is the Santonku knife with hollow edge. Whilst you may think £99 is a lot to spend on a knife I think the durability and exceptional quality of this product is well worth it.
Cheesy Pesto Dauphinoise
You will need:
400ml double cream
300ml semi skimmed milk
2 cloves of garlic, diced
100g (approx half a jar) of pesto
4 large potatoes, thinly sliced
150g mature cheddar, grated
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
generous pinch of black pepper and sea salt
small bunch of basil leaves to garnish
Preheat your oven to 200c. Add your sliced potatoes to a pan of boiling water and let them bubble away for approximately 5 minutes. Drain the water away and add your milk, cream, pesto, garlic and seasoning. Stir well and leave on a low heat for a further 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Carefully pour into a large baking dish and evenly spread out. Bake for 35 minutes until the potatoes feel soft and the top is golden brown. Now add your cheese and your onions and bake for a further 15 minutes. For a bronzed look and a slight crisp pop under the grill for a few minutes to finish.
This is best served with something simple such as griddled chicken or perhaps fish as it will let the dish shine – this is no ordinary side.
A few tips – don’t be tempted to use single cream or creme fraiche instead as it is far more likely to split. The combination of milk and double cream seems to stop any curdling or splitting. I imagine home made pesto would make it even better.
I do hope you try and this and let me know what you think.
*I was sent the Santoku knife as part of an ongoing ambassador relationship with Zwilling for the purposes of a review.