Gratins are truly Provencale' dekicious!


                                               4 tablespoons olive oil
                                               1 medium onion, chopped fine
                                               1 garlic clove, minced
                                               1 tablespoon dried herbes de Provence*, crumbled
                                               1/4 teaspoon sugar
                                               6 plum tomatoes, chopped
                                               1 beef bouillon cube if desired
                                               1/3 cup Niηoise or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
                                               2 russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 pound total), scrubbed
                                               3 ounces fresh mild goat cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
                                               2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (wash and dry before chopping)

                                               *available at specialty foods shops 

                                               Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat bottom and sides of an 11- by 8-inch (6-cup) gratin
                                               dish or other shallow baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil.

                                               In a heavy skillet cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil over moderately low heat,
                                               stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add herbes de
                                               Provence, sugar, tomatoes, bouillon cube, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook
                                               mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes and stir in olives.

                                               Cut potatoes crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices and arrange one third in baking
                                               dish. Spread half of tomato mixture over potatoes and top with half of goat
                                               cheese. Continue layering potatoes, tomato mixture, and goat cheese in same
                                               manner, ending with potatoes. Drizzle remaining tablespoon oil over gratin and
                                               bake, covered with foil, in middle of oven 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake gratin
                                               20 to 30 minutes more, or until potatoes are very tender. Sprinkle gratin with

                                               Serves 4.

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