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Potato-Cheese Gratin with Tarragon

If you don't have aged balsamic vinegar, cook down regular balsamic to concentrate the flavor: boil 3 tablespoons over low heat until reduced to 4 teaspoons.

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  • Servings: 8

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  • 8 medium red or fingerling potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 40 tarragon leaves
  • 4 ounces Comté or Gruyère cheese, cut into eight 2 1/2 -inch-square slices
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the broiler. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool, then cut each potato into neat 1/3-inch-thick slices.
  2. On an oiled baking sheet, arrange each potato into a round of slightly overlapping slices. Sprinkle each round with a little of the shallot and 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange 5 tarragon leaves on each round and top with 1 slice of cheese. Broil the potatoes, rotating the pan, for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly but not browned.
  3. Carefully transfer the potato rounds to plates using a metal spatula. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar around the potato on each plate and serve at once.
Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published October 1998

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