Normally all ‘beige’ dishes are a bit of a red flag to me as it usually means that they consist of lots of carbs (and not the wholesome ones) and dairy products like butter, cream and cheese. The original gratin dauphinois is probably the best example of all of my “don’t’s”, but it does taste SO GOOD (although more of a vague memory for me these days). So after my husband told me he sometimes misses what used to be his favourite side, I gave it a go and turned it vegan. The result went down exceptionally well, it’s as beige and creamy as you’d want it to be, but you can indulge with zero guilt!
What you need:
2tbsp rapeseed oil
1 shallot – finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
2kg white potatoes – peeled and cut into slices (approx. 5mm)
60g cashew nuts – soaked in boiled water for 15-20mins
1 tin butterbeans (salt free) – drained and rinsed
250ml unsweetened oat or soy milk
Quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
How you do it:
Preheat your oven at gas mark 5 (180C).
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil.
Once boiling pour a little of the water over your cashew nuts and soak them for 15-20mins.
In the remaining water boil your potato slices for 8-10mins or until soft, but still firm.
They should be covered by water to avoid sticking to each other.
Meanwhile heat up the rapeseed oil in a frying pan and fry the shallot until translucent.
Add the garlic and fry for a further minute, stirring frequently to avoid it from burning.
Around now is probably the time your potato slices have softened enough, so turn off the heat and gently drain them.
Now drain the cashew nuts and pour them into a food processor.
Add drained butter beans, fried shallot and garlic, oat/soy milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the food processor.
Blend everything until you get a smooth, white sauce (it should be about as thick as double cream).
Taste and add salt if needed.
Gently spoon the sliced potatoes into an on oven dish (unless I have visitors I don’t worry too much about presentation as it can be a little tricky with pre boiled potatoes) and pour in your vegan cream until the top layer of potatoes is just covered.
Bake your gratin for 25-30mins and serve with a side of choice, I love it with a fresh, leafy salad with cherry tomatoes, pepper and a sprinkle of roasted seeds.