A Farmers' Market inspired side dish

Dauphinois is a method of preparing potatoes that is the speciality of the Dauphiné area of France, near the Italian border. This is a type of gratin, where the potatoes are usually cut into thin circles and arranged with single light cream and baked in the oven. Traditional Dauphinois is served as such, however, some types of gratin Dauphinois can include the addition of milk, butter, egg and grated cheese. These additions change the experience and also offer a richer side altogether.

Since December is one of the months during which the Farmers’ market is on in Dubai, and since the UAE farmers are producing such outstanding pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potatoes, why not mix one of them (or a variety of them) with the potatoes in making the dauphinois? They really give this gratin an incredible texture and flavour. Along with the butter and thyme, my God, I really can’t say enough.

My festive dinner will always include at least one dish with some of these ingredients. And here, I am sharing with you my best loved potato and pumpkin au dauphinois, which I flavoured with thyme. This side works especially well with my Crown Rack of Lamb recipe on this link and I usually serve the two together. Give this a try this festive season and see how glorious you table will look and how delicious your menu will be!


Serves: 4-6 Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • 1/2 kg organic potatoes, peeled and cut into disks
  • 1/2 Kg organic pumpkin, peeled and sliced thinly using a mandolin
  • Light Cooking cream to cover
  • 2 tbsp organic butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp DS Organic Pickled Zaatar
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, crushed
  • 1 spring organic fresh thyme,
  • 2 cups Shredded gruyere cheese

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C.

Blanch the sliced potatoes and pumpkin in salted water until very slightly softened (this reduces the baking time). Drain and set aside.

Place the softened butter in a bowl and mix with the DS Organic Pickled Zaatar and crushed garlic. Season with salt & pepper. Brush your gratin dish with this butter mixture.

Layer, alternating, the potatoes and pumpkin slices, sprinkling each layer with a little black pepper and adding a few thyme leaves. Add a sprinkling of the shredded cheese between the layers and add a little bit of the butter mixture between the layers too.

Cover all with the light cream then cover the dish and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Remove the cover, add a layer of the grated gruyere cheese and cook uncovered until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Serve hot alongside roasts or the Crown Rack of Lamb.

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