We bought this dish at Cookin'
in San Francisco because it is our favorite color (yes, brown) and our favorite size. Big enough to serve several guests a dip, small enough to hold a cobbler for two... Our dish is about seven or eight inches long, and in the photos, it's filled with a butternut squash dip that's about to go in the oven. But we will also use it to roast a few vegetables
or a couple of chicken breasts or even make an oversized crème brûlée
. If you live alone or cook for two, this is one of the most versatile dishes to own, in our opinion.
Another reason we're in love with this new purchase: It inspires us to cook without a recipe. This isn't a standard 9x13 pan. It's not a pie plate. It's not a ramekin or a square baking dish. It's a dish that invites you to experiment with a handful of asparagus and some cheese or a couple of pears cut up with a topping. No measuring, just using enough to fill up this shallow little vessel.
This dish is very similar to our vintage one:
Emile Henry Fig Oval Gratin, $18 at Sur La Table
Related: Little Blue Cocotte
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)