ROASTED POTATO AND TUNA BRANDADE
This riff on brandade — a hearty French bistro stalwart more typically made with salt cod — is sort of like grown-up baby food: fast and simple and comforting. More often that not, I have the ingredients knocking about the pantry, which means it’s an ideal last minute solution when I need a working lunch at my desk or when J and I are craving a couchside supper in front of the television. Pungent with garlic and crisp on the edges with cheese, it’s tempting to eat it right from the bowl with the spoon. But if I can muster the willpower, I like it best on crunchy toasts with a simple green salad, dressed austerely with lemon and salt and pepper. Oh, and a glass or two of Cahors. Can’t forget the wine.
8-10 medium new potatoes, or any small thin-skinned variety
5 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
1.5 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup cream
1 tin tuna in olive oil
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1. Heat oven to 450˚. Slice potatoes in half (or quarters if they are oversized) and place in a medium bowl. Add garlic and olive oil, salt, and pepper, and stir a few times until the potatoes and garlic are well coated. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the garlic is soft and potatoes are golden and pierced easily with a fork.
2. Slip garlic from their skins and transfer with the roasted potatoes from the backing sheet back into the bowl. Add cream and 1.5 tablespoons of grated Parmesan, and mash roughly with a fork or a potato masher. Then, stir in the tuna, along with the oil it is packed in. Transfer mixture to an oven-safe dish, and sprinkle the top with remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until just crusty and golden on top.