Monday, December 31, 2012

Vegetable Au Gratin

Gratin originated from french cuisine and is prepared with any kind of vegetables or meat in béchamel sauce (made with a roux of butter and flour and gradually whisking the milk/cream until the white sauce thickens). It is usually topped with breadcrumbs and cheese and baked until it forms a golden brown crust. Au gratin is a popular cooking technique used in preparing meat, vegetable or pasta dishes. Most common of gratins are the potato, cauliflower and aubergine gratins which can be prepared in a similar way.

Although, I enjoy cooking, I try and make two dishes less frequently - lasagna and vegetable au gratin. Well, it is easy to put together once you cut the vegetables (the time consuming part) and either boil or sauté them, as required. I thought it would be a simple and rather healthy way to kick off the new year and so, I made the veg au gratin and served it with some jalapeno biscuits.


For the vegetable filling:

1 cup cauliflower florets, parboiled
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into strips, parboiled
1 medium zucchini, cut into half and sliced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced, parboiled
1 small green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the béchamel sauce:

2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (optional)
2 + 1 tbsp vegan butter
1/2 tbsp light olive oil
1/2 -1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes (optional)
1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to  375° F.Grease a 9" x 9" baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

Bring water to a boil in a pan and cook the cauliflower florets for 5-6 mins. Drain and set aside.  Repeat the process similarly for carrot and potato (its easier to cook the potato in a microwave) . 

In the baking dish, add the cauliflower florets, carrots, zucchini, potato and green bell pepper. Add salt, pepper and nutritional yeast, toss well and spread evenly.

In a sauté pan, on medium heat, add 2 tbsp vegan butter and light olive oil, chopped onion, green chillies and garlic. Sauté until the onion turns translucent. Now, add the wheat flour and mix well. Slowly, add the milk and whisk until the sauce is smooth without lumps. Add crushed red chilli flakes (optional), salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce thickens.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and gently toss until all the vegetables are coated with the white sauce. 

In a small bowl, add the panko bread crumbs, italian seasoning, nutritional yeast, crushed red chilli flakes (optional) and melted butter. Mix well and spread the topping over the vegetables. Bake for  35-40 mins or until the top forms a golden brown crust. Serve hot with toasted bread or baked biscuits.

Makes 4-5 servings.

No comments:

Post a Comment