Toulouse-Lautrec’s Gratin of Pumpkin

Pumpkin Gratin a la Toulouse Loutrec

When browsing through a cookbook some recipes literally leap from the pages and beg for more attention.  Generally it is the ingredient combination that appeals to me first, but in this case it was the recipe combined with a wonderful tale of the origins of the dish, being inspired by the colours of a piece of artwork.  If you’re not already aware, one of the other hats I proudly wear is as an artist.  I love colour and find cooking as satisfying as painting because it appeals to all the senses.

4Jane Grigson tells the story in her book of Vuillard, a fellow painter, creating this image of Toulouse-Lautrec (1898) whilst he was preparing a meal for his friends in his home in Alba. Portrait of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec by Edouard Vuillard Apparently he loved to cook and share his food and flavours with his fellow painters and was at home with food in his hands as he was with a paintbrush.  My kind of guy really.

As for the food itself, this dish is a wonderful combination of sweet creamy pumpkin, matched perfectly with tart acidic tomato and balanced with earthy, slightly sweet onions. The butter and breadcrumbs are literally icing on the cake texture wise. This gratin would be fabulous served with a roast chicken or even on its own for a meat free meal with a bit of baby spinach on the side.

On a side note, this recipe below is literally word for word and I could wax lyrically about the language use of Jane Grigson.  I loved seeing my onion bathed lightly and perfectly in the tomatoes. Bliss for the eyes and the taste buds.

Gratin De Potioron

  • 1kg piece pumpkin
  • seasoned flour
  • olive oil
  • 1/2kg onions, sliced
  • 250g tinned, peeled tomatoes
  • salt, pepper, sugar to season
  • breadcrumbs
  • butter

Peel the pumpkin, remove the insides and slice into wide pieces about 1/2cm thick.  turn the pieces in the flour and fry them in the oil until they are golden but not brown.  Do this in batches so that you only ever have one layer in the pan, drain well on paper towel.

In another pan soften the onions in a small amount of oil over a low heat until they are translucent but not coloured.  Add the tomatoes and raise the heat as their juices begin to run.  “You should end up with a moist mixture of onions, bathed lightly in tomato”.   Season with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar to suit your tastes.

3

In a gratin dish, layer the slices of pumpkin and the onion mixture adding a little extra seasoning. Finish with a layer of pumpkin and then scatter evenly with breadcrumbs.  melt a knob of butter and dribble it over the crumbs.

2

Bake at 180c until the gratin is bubbling at the sides and the flavours are well mixed. This should take about 45 minutes. Finish browning the top under a grill if necessary.  Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Gratin

Shared With Love,

Leah

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Francesca says:

    Simple, economical and so delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leah says:

      Really a great combo Francesca, I was surprise with how lovely this flavour combo was.

      Like

  2. marymtf says:

    I had to look the term up. Gratin can refer to cheese or as in this case, the breadcrumbs. I hadn’t even heard of a gratin dish before. The things I learn from my foodie friends. It’s fabulous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leah says:

      Oh thank you for your comment Mary. I’m glad I could share something new for you and in turn you’ve taught me the definition of gratin which I actually didn’t know 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. For more fun Lautrec recipes, there’s is a vintage cookbook that you might like with illustrations and recipes by Toulouse-Lautrec adapted by Maurice Joyant. The Art of Cuisine circa 1966. I found it on Amazon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leah says:

      Thank you for your comment Tracey. I love the idea of this book, I’ll have to hunt it down and have a look.

      Like

  4. ladyredspecs says:

    An interesting combination of flavours, I wouldn’t have thought to add tomato to pumpkin. Love the artist connection! Grigson’s language is sublime, I agree xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leah says:

      The combo worked really nicely. Not one I would have thought of on my own either :-). I love that the colours of the dish so clearly mimic the painting. A wonderful connection that Grigson has drawn.

      Like

  5. Leah says:

    Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:
    A colourful and tasty contribution with artistic inspiration for this month’s The Cookbook Guru book of choice.

    Happy Reading and Happy Cooking,

    Leah

    Like

  6. Glenda says:

    Hi Leah AH, I have been building up to doing a post on another JG Gratin…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. sounds wonderful and i love the name of it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leah says:

      It really is amazing how it mimics the painting its named after 🙂

      Like

  8. I wonder if this is also listed in Lautrec’s own cookbook (The Art of Cuisine)? I really like his inventive recipes and this seems to be no exception. Grigson really liked his food, I think, as she mentions him quite a lot. A great pumpkin/squash recipe to add to the list.

    Like

    1. Leah says:

      I had no idea Lautrec had his own cookbook. I’m going to have to track that down as I’m sure it would be an interesting read. Such a simple recipe, but it works so well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is a photo of the book on one of my posts (on making homemade cassis) – https://americanfoodieabroad.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-problem-with-black-currants/
        Although, I can’t claim to have discovered the book on my own. That was due to Francesca @ Almost Italian. It’s an interesting book and well worth a read + has lots of his drawings. Enjoy!

        Like

  9. Amanda says:

    What a beautiful recipe and what a beautiful comparison with art and colors. There’s a beautiful toulouse-lautrec exhibit at the MOMA right now. I didn’t know he cooked. So cool. Great post!

    Like

    1. Leah says:

      Thank you. I’m such a visual person this appealed to me on both levels. thanks for the comment. 🙂

      Like

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