It’s Thursdayyy! This morning I am having a hard time focusing on this delicious, fabulous gratin that I made for Mitch’s 29th bday on Tuesday because there are only 16 days until we tie the knot…how is it so soon! I still have about 100 more things to accomplish before then. As much as I have loved wedding planning – it really has been so fun – I am pretty ready to be married and leave this part-time job behind me:) Or I will be sad and won’t know what to do with all my spare time. Only time will tell!
So, this gratin! I was so happy when this turned out. It was for Mitch’s birthday dinner, so that would be unfortunate if I ruined it with a potato experiment and it’s also so sad when you go to a lot of effort creating something and it turns out terrible. But, it worked and it was delicious! I absolutely love scalloped potatoes and gratin’s, but they are usually cheese and cream-laden which are two things I don’t want to eat a lot of of, so I went to work creating something similar but vegan.
I used my usual go-to when I want to make a vegan cheese-like sauce – cashews. I soaked them in vegetables broth for about an hour then blended them until a creamy sauce formed. I mixed this with unsweetened coconut milk and it became my “cheese” sauce.
Start with a layer of your thinly sliced sweet potatoes, add a layer of the cheese sauce and repeat until you run out of ingredients. The result is this beautiful, rich-tasting but healthy side dish that Mitch and I loved! It’s also really easy to make and looks pretty impressive. Try it!
- 6 small sweet potatoes - sliced thinly with skins on (I used one purple japanese potato for a nice color contrast)
- 1 cup cashews - soaked in vegetable broth for minimum 1 hour (you will need enough broth to cover the cashews plus about 1 inch which is about 1.5 cups of broth)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil - 1 tbsp to grease your pan and 1 tbsp melted and poured over your sliced potatoes to help the seasonings stick
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley as garnish
- At least 1 hour before making your gratin, soak your cashews in the vegetable broth (you can also soak them the night before or morning of if you remember)
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Grease a large cast iron skillet or casserole dish with the remaining butter or coconut oil
- Slice your potatoes into very thin circles and place into a large mixing bowl and toss with your melted butter or coconut oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Blend your cashews and broth in a blender with the nutmeg, lemon juice and coconut milk until creamy
- Start making your gratin by layering your sweet potatoes into a single layer on the bottom of your greased pan - overlap your potatoes so that you can't see the bottom of the pan
- Once your first layer is complete, add enough cashew sauce to cover the potatoes, then add a second layer of potatoes and repeat until you run out of ingredients
- Place your gratin in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown
- Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to allow the gratin to set-up
- Garnish with fresh parsley
- Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy!