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The Berghoff Café Cookbook
by Carlyn Berghoff & Nancy Ross Ryan

Potatoes, onions, and parsley—such a simple recipe, but once again it shows how some basic ingredients can be reused, recycled, and reinvented. The dish originated in Lyon, France, and there are dozens of versions, some with precooked, some with raw potatoes. My twist is to toss the sliced potatoes and onions in olive oil before cooking, so the vegetables are evenly coated and the finished dish is not swimming in fat. If you have a mandoline, use it to slice the potatoes and onions evenly. Slice the potatoes diagonally and lengthwise for nice long slices. This is a great big potato cake, so slice it into wedges and plate it in the kitchen. I slide the potato cake out on a twelve-inch pizza pan for slicing.
Serves 8 to 10


    • 3 medium to large yellow onions, sliced 1/8 inch thick
    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 1½ pounds unpeeled russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced diagonally, lengthwise 1/8 inch thick
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a 3-quart bowl, place the onions, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Toss well to coat and set aside.

In another 3-quart bowl, place the potatoes and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat and set aside.

Spray a 12-inch nonstick ovenproof saute pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute, stirring, until golden brown but not burned, about 15 minutes. Transfer the onions to a large plate and set aside.

Spray the same saute pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray, and, over lower heat, layer half of the potato slices in an overlapping spiral to cover the bottom of the skillet. Spread the reserved onions evenly over the potatoes. Top with the remaining potato slices, in an overlapping spiral. Press down evenly with a spatula.


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