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Comfort Food Friday: Harissa-spiced potato gratin

How many ways can you eat potatoes? This one may top the list.

CLEVELAND — Everyone loves potatoes, right? This week, Cleveland Central Kitchen is cooking up a harissa-spiced potato gratin to warm you up for Comfort Food Friday. Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste. Locally, you can buy it from Pur Spices, one of the local businesses that uses the Cleveland Central Kitchen.

Here is owner Sonya Patel's recipe for harissa-spiced potato gratin. Enjoy!


  • 1 lg bunch kale, washed, ribbed, and torn or chopped roughly
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced or pressed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4″-thick rounds
  • 3/4 c cream
  • 1 c grated cheese (we used parmesan and gruyere)
  • 1-2 tbs PUR Spices Harissa (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tbs finely chopped chives (optional)


  • Grease a 2 qt casserole. Preheat oven to 350.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add the kale and sauté until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Mix the cream with harissa until fully incorporated and set aside.
  • Make a bottom layer of sliced potatoes, add a sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add a thin layer of cooked kale spreading it out with your hands if needed. Sprinkle a generous handful of grated cheese over the kale.
  • Repeat two more times with the potato layer, salt, and pepper, kale, and cheese. Add a potato layer on top.
  • Pour the cream and harissa mixture over the top and top with the remaining cheese. The liquid should come up to almost the top layer of the potatoes. If you don’t have enough, just add a little more cream as needed.
  • Bake for about 75-90 min – checking to make sure that the milk or cream is absorbed, and the gratin is “firm”. If the top is getting too brown, loosely cover with foil.
  • Let the casserole rest for about 15 min and top with chives before serving.

TIP: Assemble in two smaller casseroles if you don’t need the entire recipe. Pop one in the freezer to bake later or share with a family member or friend! If you’re baking a smaller casserole, the baking time will be closer to 45-60min.

Pur Spices are featured in the Cleveland Central Kitchen Love Local boxes. There is more information about this, here.


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