A great way to feed veggies to the entire family and also makes for a one pot meal . Serve it with warm bread or make this into a casserole by layering it with rice or pasta. My big win with this bake was getting a nice brown crust on top .
- (Serves 4-5)
- Baby potatoes – 400 grams
- Olive oil – 40 grams
- Chopped onions – 40 grams
- Chopped garlic – 15 grams
- Chopped parsley – 10 grams
- Sliced mushrooms – 100 grams
- Brocolli florets – 100 grams
- Carrots – 200 grams
- French beans – 250 grams
- All purpose flour / whole wheat flour – 10 grams
- Plant milk (soy / nut) – 200 ml.
- Salt – 10-20 grams
- Pepper – 5-10 grams
- Nutritional yeast – 10 grams
- All any other Vegetables that you would like to use – green peas, corn etc.
For the vegan cheese:
- Cashews – 75 grams
- Water / coconut milk – 250 grams
- tapioca starch – 15 grams
- Apple cider vinegar – 5 grams
- Lemon juice – 5 grams
- Black salt – 5 grams
- Garlic – 3-4 cloves
- Salt – 5 grams or to taste
- Nutritional yeast- 10 grams
1. The first thing to do for your au gratin is to process all your vegetables. Wash everything. The baby potatoes can be kept whole if small in size else slice them in two or three parts. Keep the skin intact . Peel the carrots and cut them into one inch size thick rectangles. Chop off the ends of French beans and divide each bean into two pieces. Seperate the broccoli florets. Clean the mushrooms and cut each button mushroom into two parts. Peel and chop the garlic and the onions. Process all other vegetables that you are using for your dish.
2. Set water to boil. Salt your water well. I’ve boiled each set of vegetable for my au-gratin to control the amount of doneness. You can also pressure cook these as long as you are able to make sure that your Vegetable does not become mushy. The potatoes should be boiled till a fork passes through them without any resistance.
3. Similarly boil carrot and beans in salted water till soft but still crunchy.
4. Boil the broccoli florets in salted water with a pinch of sugar till tender.
5. Once the vegetables are done, start on the sauce and the assembly of the dish. Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic and onions in it till they are transparent. Add sliced mushrooms and allow them to cook. Once the mushrooms have browned and just before they release water, add the flour and stir gently to cook the flour for about 2 -3 minutes on a medium flame. Take care to not brown the flour.
6. Once the flour is cooked (this is your roux) remove your pan from heat and slowly add in the plant milk, all the while stirring to avoid forming lumps. Your milk should be at room temperature. Add about 100 ml. of your milk and reserve the rest for later.
7. Once the flour and milk have completely emulsified, return the pan to a low flame. Cook the mix till it starts to thicken. Stir constantly. Add the remaining milk to thin your sauce.
8. Add your boiled vegetables, seasoning, chopped parsley and nutritional yeast to the white sauce in the pan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning . The sauce at this point should have thickened to coat all the vegetables well.
9. Set your oven to preheat at 240 C
10. Transfer your vegetables to a baking dish. Pour over the liquid cheese at this point. I used the left over cheese I had from the pizza making session. If you don’t have any to use, follow the steps below.
For the liquid pizza cheese:
11. Heat the cashews in a pan of water for about 30 minutes. Add the Cashews and all other ingredients in a grinder and combine into a smooth thin paste.
12. Transfer this paste into a pan and cook it on medium heat while stirring constantly till the cheese begins to thicken slightly. Take the cheese off the heat.
13. Dot your assembled dish with some drops of olive oil on top to promote browning. Now bake your au gratin in the preheated oven at 240C for 30 minutes or till you get a nice brown crust on top. Serve hot.
14. While I haven’t used any breadcrumbs in my au gratin, you can get a crunchier texture by layering your Vegetables with bread crumbs tossed in oil before you pour over the liquid cheese.
1. Make sure to cook your Vegetables to a nice crunch when you boil them. Undercooked Vegetables will remain so even after baking especially the potatoes.
2. Make the au-gratin your own by varying ingredients, layering with rice or pasta.
3. Make sure that when you add the Vegetables to the sauce , you get a thick coating of sauce . This is important as we are going to be adding more liquid or moisture to this recipe when we pour over the liquid cheese.
4. Make sure to salt your boiling water and all your Vegetables before you assemble everything. This is important to get a great taste from the dish which can otherwise end up tasting bland.