'Cheesy' vegetable gratin
France has an impressive culinary history but with the majority of it being non vegan we don't often find recipes such as this. This is a seemingly decadent yet wonderfully nutritious gratin. It is perfect for this time of year as it uses veggies that are in season and it's so warming and filling. I used veg from my Riverford UK only veg box, which is so much cheaper than most people think it will be!
A splash of olive oil
2 leeks, cut into 1 inch slices
3 small potatoes, cut into 1cm slices
5 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
5 sundried tomatoes, sliced
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 cup water with 1t stock powder mixed in
3 stalks of rosemary
A few cabbage leaves with their spines removed
For the bechamel -
2T olive oil
4T oat flour or oats ground in a chopper attachment of a handblender
4T nutritional yeast
1.45 cups of dairy free milk
A dash of salt
A good grind of back pepper
Heat your oven to 200c
Cover the base of a baking dish with olive oil
Make a layer of potato slices then add the leeks on top of the potato. Put the garlic cloves into the dish using any gaps between the potatoes. Add the tomatoes, the salt and pepper and the stock to the pan.
Place the rosemary stalks on top and then cover with the cabbage leaves. Cover the whole pan with foil and secure tightly. Bake for around 30 minutes, you can check if it is cooked by opening the foil (being careful as steam will escape and steam burns suck!). Then use a fork to test a potato.
Whilst that is baking make the bechamel. In a pan heat the olive oil, add the oat flour and nutritional and mix. Add the milk bit by bit, mixing, with a whisk, after each addition. Allow the mixture to thicken mixing often to stop lumps forming. As you mix the bechamel you will see the mixture is grainy, eventually it will become glossy. This shows you the flour has cooked through. Add salt to taste.
Once the gratin is cooked through you now need to transfer it (using your cooking ninja skills) to another pan that can be put under a grill (I use a frying pan). If the veg is stuck a little to the pan you will need to use a palette knife or similar to. Now place the second pan on top of the first and turn upside down.
Pour the bechamel over the gratin, use a fork to spread it. Grill until browned. Top with freshly ground black pepper.