Hello everybody and welcome back!
Today for you I have one of my favourite dishes back from my childhood. It’s an humble and quite traditional southern Italian dish starring two simple yet delicious ingredients: potatoes and courgettes. These gorgeous ingredients are sliced and arranged in layers, each to be flavoured with fresh herbs (typically parsley) and spices.
For those intrested potatoes are tubers that grow underground on the roots of a plant called Solanum Tuberosum, and they are very important to an healthy diet.
Primarly composed of carbohydrates, potatoes contain a fair amount of proteins, minerals and antioxidants. They are one of the richest souce of starch and dietary fibers, and they provide as much as 421mg of potassium (which is more than what is contained in a banana!), excellent amount of vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
On the other hand, courgettes contain zero fat, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and they are high in water and fiber. As well as potatoes, they also contain significant amounts of vitamins B6 and potassium (261mg per 100g), and other group B vitamins, like riboflavin (B2) and folate (B9).
As I mentioned in the intro this is one of the dishes that reminds me of my childhood. My grandmother Rosa used to make it very often, especially under my grandfather Giuseppe request. They both used to love this bake and I remember me being almost hypnotised and fascinated by the way she used to meticulously arrange and season all layers. It’s probabily the dish that taught me how important is to salt everything when it comes to cooking, since the very first time I tried to replicate it I went to my grandma pretty upset and I asked her: mine is plain, it tastes nothing like yours! Actually it tastes of nothing! Why?!?!?
And after she tried a bite she went: Mmm.. Did you season every layer? It seems like a little girl forgot to put enough salt in the bake!
Of course she was right. I remember it took me a couple of attempts more to finally nail the seasoning of this dish, hence one tip she would give to all of those that are going to give this recipe a try: do not forget to season every element! 😀
4 large Potatoes
3 medium Courgettes
1 Salad Tomato (or 10 cherry tomatoes)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove
1 cup Fresh Parsley
2 tbsp Dried Sage
20 gr Vegan Parmesan Cheese (Gondino)
2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Preheat the oven at 180° C.
Now: let’s start chopping up!
In order to assemble this easy dish quickly and smoothly, I reccomend to prep all the veggies and set them aside.
1st layer: potato slices on a bed of olive oil. Sprinkle some onion cubes and season with salt, pepper and sage.
2nd layer: arrange courgette slices over the potatoes and season with salt, pepper, garlic, nutritional yeast, Gondino cheese, fresh parsley and a touch of olive oil.
Repeat layers 1 and 2, then cover with a final layer of potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, sage, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pour 1/2 an inch of salted water into the corners of the tray, making sure it goes on the bottom of it without ruining the layers.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until potatoes are cooked thoroughly. Piercing them with a wooden skewer might help.
Serve hot, warm or cold. It seriously is amazing anyhow! I personally enjoy it warm in winter and cold when the weather is hot. You pick how and let me know what you think please!
Have a lovely Sunday and an amazing new week!