Normally cheesy gratin dishes would be Winter fare in this house, but it is late Spring as I write, and we have the heating on and three layers of clothes. It is cold and wet. It might be 10 days from Summer but it feels like mid Winter. It HAS to be potatoes and cheese. Plus the oven warms the kitchen nicely.
This is a beautiful Autumn and Winter dish that can also be made with Spring vegetables. Today it might be Spring here, but leeks and carrots are still on the menu on the colder days of this transitional season. We have had such cold weather this year, even breaking records for the coldest November day in 50 years.
You can vary this dish. For example, use leeks only, or carrots only. Potatoes on their own are also very very good.
Read about Cooking a la Grecque Style.
This dish is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.
Grape vine leaves add a subtle flavour to dishes that are cooked on them – even wood-fired BBQs using grape vine “wood” adds a subtle taste and aroma to foods cooked over that fire.
It is a wonder that we don’t use vine leaves more for baking foods. As well as the flavour, the leaves themselves can be eaten if you have baked in a low heat (otherwise, they go a little crispy).
Elizabeth David in her beautiful book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, gives a recipe for baking mushrooms with vine leaves. She first saw the recipe in Edmond Ridhardin’s 1913 book L’Art du Bien Manger. It is as good today as it was a century ago.
You might like to explore other Elizabeth David recipes, or browse Mushroom recipes. This dish could also be cooked in a covered BBQ – have a look at other BBQ dishes also. Or simply scroll through all of our Mid Spring recipes.
Cabbage and Carbs always go well together, right? And this dish of cabbage with pasta is divine. It is a great cold weather dish, and perfectly good for any time of the year as a Sunday Supper. It is a rustic dish, but don’t let that dissuade you.
Sometimes I cook this dish and the family aren’t home yet, and I pick at it in the kitchen until there is a definite hole in the side. It is so delicious with the nutty, slightly stretchy Emmental cheese. So easy to make just 3 ingredients – I cook the pasta and use the pasta water to blanch the cabbage. A few minutes assembly and into the oven it goes for about 20 mins – faster if you have a good fan forced oven. Take it bubbling to the table – your family will be begging for it again and again.
Truly, this dish almost needs a wood fire and a large glass of red. Eat on its own, with salads, or as an accompaniment to other dishes. Left overs are good fried up for breakfast! You could almost say that this comfort dish is NOT a Sydney dish. It is built for Melbourne and Adelaide, and all year round in Tassie. 🙂
Are you looking for Pasta dishes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. Then try Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Pepper and Tomato, and Light Pasta Salad.
Also browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.
We all love Parmesan sprinkled over baked dishes – that leathery melted sheet that results is chewy and yummy, the result of direct heat. But the complex flavours of parmesan are better preserved when, grated, it hits food still warm from the oven or stove. In fact, in Italian food, Parmesan is used widely but sparingly and rarely sees direct heat.
We use that practice with these gorgeously roasted Parsnips. It is Winter, and Winter = Parsnips. A simple dish to make but oh how very wonderful.
Oh the flavours of Morocco! And this lovely dish brings a memory of them to the table with the use of Harissa.
Harissa is a wonderful, fiery chilli and capsicum paste from Morocco and other parts of North Africa. Traditionally it is used as a condiment, and added to dishes according to taste. Used in small amounts, it enlivens stir-fries, stocks, sauces and vegetable casseroles, braises etc.
Harissa can be found in good supermarkets or Middle Eastern and North African providores. But it is also easy enough to make your own, with the advantage that you can adjust the heat level to your taste.
The dish itself is easy to make and tastes great with buttery couscous or even quinoa. We made it on a Summery day that was cooler – blessed relief from the intense heat, and a day where we were not afraid to turn the oven on. It takes 40 mins to cook, but can take longer depending on your cookware – we used terracotta and that always takes a bit longer.
For Eggplant dishes with Middle Eastern flavours try Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts with Yoghurt Dressing, and Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic Yoghurt Sauce.
As Winter marches on, we want dishes that we can cook in the oven, to add another source of heat to warm the kitchen. Baked dishes are also usually hearty, so they warm and nourish the body in a way that we only seek in Winter. Gratin dishes are so perfect, ticking every box.
This dish layers potatoes with cheese, covers them with milk and cream, and bakes it until bubbling and golden. Delicious!
Beautiful raisin flavoured baked pears for wintery nights.
Aaah, the thought of these makes me feel hungry. First made in our household about 20 years ago they still feature occasionally in our kitchen, especially in winter. They are a great way to take the evening chill off of the kitchen – turn the oven on, pop in the pears and perhaps some parsnips to roast, pour the wine and put some Italian music on in the background.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. You can browse more of those recipes in the Retro Recipes series.
Nothing says “Winter” quite like baked fennel
Fennel raw in the warmer parts of Autumn is a must; fennel braised, roasted, pureed, baked, grilled or otherwise cooked in Winter is so heavenly.
Today, slow baked in olive oil and lemon juice – almost cooked a la Grecque – is a suitably Wintery dish for this weather. Enlivened with a Roast Vegetable Salt and Orange Zest, and replacing some of the lemon with pomegranate vinegar, set the scene for a Sunday lunch.
Leftover eggplant in the fridge? Don’t quite know what to do with it? No matter what you are serving tonight, this Italian dish from Bugialli will blend. In no time at all you will be enjoying the wonderful soft texture of well cooked eggplant contrasted with the crunch of breadcrumbs. It makes a great starter with a green leaf or two, it can accompany any other dish for a a multi dish meal, or it can take centre place with a salad and chickpeas.
Eggplant will soak up whatever you soak it in. This recipe utilises this property well by marinating the eggplant before baking. Yummy! This is so good, I do hope that you try it.
Are you looking for other Eggplant dishes? Try Eggplants in a Creamy Peanut Gravy, Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, Eggplant and Zucchini with a Chickpea and Harissa Sauce, and Eggplant, Sultanas and Pinenuts.
Also, feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog in existence from 1995 – 2006, in our Retro Recipes series.
You will really enjoy this recipe. Softened eggplants are slit and fanned, and its slices interwoven with cheese, tomatoes and peppers. They are then baked on a bed of the sweetest caramelised onions, and the cheese melts. If, like me, you use mozzarella, it oozes everywhere! Cheesey Eggplants – who can resist?
If you use a cheese that holds its shape during baking it won’t form a bed of oozy cheese but rather stay in the eggplant, but we love this oozing aspect of the dish. It is perfect for Late Autumn.
It’s a French recipe, so I suggest some French wine and a green salad, for a light lunch eaten outside on a gorgeous Autumn day sitting under a gorgeously coloured tree raining leaves. Do enjoy!
Feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006, in our Retro Recipes series.
Rice pudding is such a traditional dish, born from Mother’s, Grandmothers’ and Great Grandmothers’ Winter collections of recipes. I always know when the best of Glorious Autumn is over because I bake a rice pudding. It varies every year – sometimes it is as early as early April, and sometimes as late as mid May here in the Southern Hemisphere. A dish of extreme comfort and warmth, there is something about it that connects me with my great line of ancestors.
This old fashioned, rustic dish is rather dark from the cinnamon and the brown sugar. Use white sugar if you prefer a lighter version.
Looking for more? Explore all of our Rice Puddings and all of our other Desserts . Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. Or try our easy Mid Autumn recipes.
An unashamedly Retro Dish perfect for Modern Times.
Potatoes and Cumin are a great match. This retro baked dish is a great dish for any time of the year, and extremely wonderful in cooler Autumn months and Winter. It layers the potato with black pepper and cumin seed, and tops it with juicy tomatoes, breadcrumbs and parsley. It is a comforting dish, home cooking at its best. Who would not want to come home to a dish like this?
Would you like to try even more Gratin recipes? Try Gratineed Sweet Potato, Potato Gratin with Cream and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.
Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – recipes from our previous blog that ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Potato recipes here and our Gratin Recipes. Or you might like to browse Tomato recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.
Once I had a lovely older Italian man as a hairdresser. He was amazing. As we molded my hair into some shape and varied colour upon colour, we discussed cooking, fashion and food. Sometimes with a glass of champagne. He was very special and he gave me this great family polenta recipe.
Gratin – sometimes written as gratinée or au gratin—is a very flexible recipe where an ingredient is cooked in a shallow dish – a gratin dish which is an oval-shaped oven-safe baking and serving pan. The Gratin is topped with cheese or buttery breadcrumbs that will crisp up when the dish is baked in a hot oven or placed under a grill. Adding just cream will also produce a lightly browned crust if baked in high heat. Gratins are usually served straight from the dish.
Gratin originated in French cuisine. The best known gratin dishes are Potato Gratin and Pommes Dauphinoises. Many Tians are gratins too, only in disguise! Also Baked Pasta dishes! Often vegetables are covered with cheese, cream, and/or breadcrumbs and baked or grilled for a beautiful gratin dish.
This recipe is a beautiful, buttery, creamy gratin that combines zucchini with potatoes and flavours it with thyme. A wonderful match.
You might also like to browse all of our Gratin dishes here, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or all of the Zucchini recipes here and here. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes. Also, feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series.