The walnuts in the sauce and topping of this creamy gratin make for a satisfying dose of good fats and protein. This cozy dish is perfect with a little side salad. My gratin method here works with all kinds of thinly sliced vegetables, including potatoes and sweet potatoes, and even small florets of broccoli and cauliflower. Nutritional yeast (an inactive yeast) is what brings the slightly cheesy and savoury flavour. It can be found in spice aisles of supermarkets.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease 7 x 11 x 2 in (18 x 28 x 5 cm) baking dish with olive oil. If you donu2019t have this size, any baking dish with a 6-cup (1.5 L) capacity will work.
To make topping, in food processor or the dry blade container of a high-speed blender, combine all topping ingredients. Pulse mixture until you have a crumbly, slightly moist consistency. Set aside.
To make walnut sauce, in medium saucepan, combine diced potatoes, walnut halves, and garlic. Cover potatoes with cold water and set pot over medium-high heat. Bring saucepan to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are tender and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
In upright blender, combine drained potato and walnut mixture, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, water, salt, and pepper. Blend mixture on high until completely smooth and creamy.
Spread 1/2 cup (125 mL) walnut sauce across bottom of prepared baking dish. Arrange slices of zucchini in dish. Lightly season arranged zucchini with salt and pepper. Pour remaining walnut sauce overtop zucchini. Lightly tap baking dish on the counter a few times to evenly distribute sauce.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake in oven for 15 minutes. At the 15-minute mark, remove foil from baking dish, and sprinkle topping evenly across the surface. Bake gratin for another 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and slightly thickened, and topping is lightly browned. Serve gratin hot.
This recipe is part of the Cooking with The First Mess collection.
In this plant-based stuffing, fresh herbs and dried fruit replace the depth of flavour usually infused by chicken juices, so use fresh thyme and rosemary if possible to maximize the flavour return. By baking the stuffing in a shallow dish, the bottom stays wonderfully soft and moist while the top becomes addictively crunchy, as opposed to an in-bird stuffing that ends up monotonously mushy. Sweet and not-too-salty For a more exotic flavour, skip garlic and add small pieces of dark chocolate. To keep sodium levels down, be careful that you don’t add too much salt. If your bread already contains a decent amount of sodium, you might not need to add extra, but taste stuffing before baking to make sure it won’t be bland. And err on the side of under-seasoned if you plan to eat it with a salty gravy or sauce.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this roasted vegetable appetizer platter. High quality ingredients, a variety of textures and colours, fresh herbs, and a flash of lemon make it shine. Not all olive oils and balsamics are created equal Use your good, fruity, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil to accompany this appetizer platter, since the quality and flavour will shine through. You can use a more neutral and affordable olive oil for roasting the vegetables, if you prefer. As for the balsamic vinegar, use either an aged one that’s thick and sweet, or reduce a young balsamic in a small saucepan until thick, optionally adding a pinch of sugar to sweeten it (see the oyster mushrooms with caramelized parsnips recipe for helpful directions). A store-bought balsamic glaze that’s already been thickened works as well, but check the ingredients for unwanted preservatives and sweeteners.
Spooned over hearty fall greens such as kale or chard, this delicious side dish can also double as a main meal; its flavours absolutely pop with our zesty herb topping. The beets are packed with amazing nutrients, plus they’re delicious served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Add some crunch This dish is a meal in itself. Scatter toasted pine nuts or pecans overtop for some added crunch.