Saturday, 22 March 2014

Dana's Vegan Zucchini/Courgette Gratin

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs Podcast ~ Zoe Wannamaker

It's party day for little Noo so ML and I are enjoying a quiet hour before we get ourselves partied up and head out for the venue. Noo is 5 tomorrow but today is the party she is going to share with all her friends. There will be wall to wall little pirates and princesses and in Noos case, the one and only Pirate Princess Neve...ruler of all she sees. lol. Its gonna be fun...and the little sweetheart deserves every fun filled second of it. OK enough of the sappy auntie stuff...

I had two courgettes to use up and being lurgy ridden I had no idea what to do with them. Bummer, eh? And then during a inspirational fact finding mission on Pinterest..ahem..I found Minimalist Bakers..aka Dana's gratin recipe. I spent last week using up a wonderful bowl of cashew cream cheese and had been looking at recipes for cashew 'parmesan' for a while. The recipe seemed straight forward enough which was essential today. 

The hardest part of making this gratin is the thinly slicing of the courgettes but for me that's a peaceful process. Making the cashew parm is very simple as its a toss and blitz recipe. Tossing the sliced courgettes in pepper, salt, cashew parm and oil is a matter of moments and then the layering over the cooked onions is a few moments more. Then its popped in the oven to roast. 

I served mine with brown rice and steamed side veggies and I enjoyed it. However next time I would swap out the garlic granules with fresh garlic as I found the granules to be slightly bitter but that is just my personal preference. The absence of the asparagus, that Dana uses in her original recipe, wasn't missed. I chose not to use them. I reduced the amount of cashew parm because I found the smell of it alone to be overpowering but next time I would use a little less...again a personal preference thing. It is a good recipe and inspired me to try my own version. So thank you Dana...

Dana's Zucchini/Courgette Gratin

Dana's Vegan Zucchini/Courgette Gratin   Serves 4 
(Recipe from Minimalist Baker)

2 medium zucchini/courgettes, sliced in thin rounds
1/2 onion, cut into thin rings (I used one full onion)
sea salt 
black pepper
3/4-1 cup vegan parmesan cheese, recipe below
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder 

For the vegan parmesan:
3/4 cup cashews 
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp garlic powder 

Prepare vegan parmesan cheese by whirling all ingredients together in a food processor until a fine meal is formed. Don't over process or it will begin to get clumpy. Set aside. (Will keep covered in a fridge for about a month) 

In a 10" cast iron of oven safe skillet saute the onion in 1/2 tbsp olive oil over a medium low heat until soft - about 10 minutes- seasoning with salt and black pepper. Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 400'F/200'C/GM 6. Slice courgettes into very thin slices about 1/8th of an inch thick. Add courgette to a mixing bowl and top with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and 2 tbsp vegan parm. Toss to coat. 

Spread the slightly cooled onions around the bottom of the skillet to create an even base and top with courgettes. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just start on the outside, and work your way in, keeping them in line as much as possible. 

Top with an even layer of parmesan cheese about 3/4 cup and bake for 30 minutes. Then grill on high for 1-2 minutes to toast up the top. (Optional but recommended). Watch closely as it can burn quickly. Let rest for a few minutes before serving. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday is a fantastic one...

ML's latest creation...Pirate Princess Noo's Pirate Ship & Island BDay Cake


NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Dana over at Minimalist Baker. I thank her for a good recipe...~R~