Kitchen Scraps: Cauliflower & Leek Gratin

November 3, 2016

Cauliflower & Leek Gratin by Faring Well

Welcome to another edition of “kitchen scraps”, where the leftover little recipes in my kitchen find a home. Here you will find a simple recipe I enjoyed but didn’t make the cut for a full-bodied blog post. I hope you enjoy the little wins I get to share with you here – and let me know if you give any “kitchen scraps” a try by tagging your Instagram photos #fwkitchenscraps

Can you believe it is November? Halloween came and passed, and I’m ready to move onto all things Thanksgiving. Mainly because this next holiday here in the US really kickstarts my favorite – Christmas, and the sooner I can start playing Bing Crosby’s Christmas album, the better. Your comments last week were so touching to read on your sweet relationships with your grandmas, thank you for being such sweet people and sharing a bit of your life with me. It is such a treat to swap stories with you here in this space, and to chat about exciting food!

This side dish is particularly exciting to me, and one I hope to grace our holiday tables with this year. The cauliflower makes a wonderful substitution for potatoes in the classic gratin dish. making it rich yet not too heavy. Crispy leaks bring extra fall flavor, and the cheesy cream sauce made from a simple blend of cashews, nut milk, garlic, and nutritional yeast is what takes this dish to the next comfort-food-level. Plants never cease to amaze me as I experiment with them each week, and I hope this recipe finds it’s way onto your table this season. Whether it be a part of a thanksgiving feast, or a weeknight side dish.

I hope you have a wonderful November weekend, friends. We will be heading to visit our parents in Phoenix for the next few days, but I promise the recipe for this cookie will be coming to you soon. – xx

Serves 4 to 6 as a side. 

2 large heads of cauliflower
2 leeks
avocado or olive oil
sea salt & black pepper
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup plain almond milk
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Position the two oven racks so they are evenly spaced, and preheat the oven to 400 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Slice the cauliflower into bite size florets and divide between the two baking sheets.

Trim the green part from the leek, and slice the white stalk in half. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces, break apart the layers, and scatter them on the sheets with the cauliflower. Lightly spray with pure avocado oil, or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes. The vegetables should be golden.

In a high speed blender, combine the soaked (drained and rinsed) cashews with the almond milk, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, and a few pinches of sea salt. Blend on high for 45 seconds, or until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (I slightly under-salted the sauce since I had already salted the vegetables).

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a 9 x 13 inch oven proof casserole dish. Pour the cream sauce on top and place the dish in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes – or until heated throughout. Serve right away.

Cauliflower & Leek Gratin by Faring Well


  • Reply betty November 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    This looks amazing! And I have a head of cauliflower waiting for me to do something with it in the fridge RIGHT NOW. I love this series Jessie – exactly what I need to keep cleaning out the fridge and use up everything. I’m definitely making this!!

    • Reply Faring Well November 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Betty, thank you! I am so flattered you are loving this dish + series, and hope you love the gratin as much as I do <3

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full November 3, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I LOVE Bing Crosby’s Christmas album!! It’s a favorite in my family, we play it every year!! :) Sending hugs, Jessie <3

    • Reply Faring Well November 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Isn’t it the best! And thank you Sarah, same back at you – xx

  • Reply Rachel @ Baking Up Bliss November 4, 2016 at 1:05 am

    I just love how simple and comforting this is! It’s always lovely to have a recipe like this in your back pocket for a more stressful meal like thanksgiving. Not to mention it sounds DELICIOUS. Also, I totally agree about the Bing Crosby chrismas albumn, I would start listening to it in August if I could!

    • Reply Faring Well November 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Ah yes I so hear you – the simpler the dishes the better at Thanksgiving ;) especially when they come out as tasty as this guy. Dido on Bing in August too!

  • Reply Tori//Gringalicious November 4, 2016 at 3:55 am

    This gratin looks amazing! Perfect for the coming season. I am also a huge fan of Bing and I can’t wait t start singing along to the besties!

    • Reply Faring Well November 8, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Aw thank you Tori! And just a few more week’s till it is socially acceptable, then we will all be singing his songs in our kitchens :) – xo

  • Reply Jodi November 4, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Mmmm I’m really into leeks right now and so I’m really into this recipe right now! Such a simple, comforting dish, Jessie. Yes indeed christmas is coming – and with that snow and so much tea and so so much coziness. I’m pretty excited too. Have a great weekend with family – here’s hoping its all kinds of nourishing. x

    • Reply Faring Well November 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you tons Jodi, you’re too sweet! Leeks are something special this time of year to me too. Excited for all things cozy soon, happy week friend! xx

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout November 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

    This is beautiful, Jessie! Such cozy comfort food for these grey days – although now that I think about it you are probably still having wonderful sunshiny days (!!!). I’ve been craving wholesome, rich, and comforting food lately and this looks like it would really hit the spot <3

    • Reply Faring Well November 8, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Ah yes, so much sunshine ;) trying to not complain! But I will be channeling all the grey days in my kitchen making these cozy dishes. Hope you get your cravings met with some comforting food soon girl, happy November Maya! <3

  • Reply Marta & Mimma | NATURALMENTE BUONO November 6, 2016 at 3:23 am

    still can’t believe it’s november. Here in Sicily it’s still 24°C outside and almost can still wear my flip flops. The fact is, I’m more like a winter girl, with tons of hot teas and soups and cozy & comforting (but yet wholesome) meals. Made something really similar to this about 2 weeks ago and it’s pure comfort food! I was missing leeks but next time I’ll be sure I won’t. x

    • Reply Faring Well November 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      We are the same here Marta! Flips flops year round, but that doesn’t mean we have to skip out on cozy season right?! ;) Still enjoying those comforting foods despite the sunshine. Love that you made something similar, and hope you enjoy it with leeks next time around too! Have a wonderful week Marta <3

  • Reply Lauren November 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Made this Sunday night and it is SO GOOD! I’m always hesitant to bring something “non-traditional” to Thanksgiving, but this has me rethinking my menu. Thanks, Jessie!

    • Reply Faring Well November 16, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Aw no way! You are the sweetest! Thank you for trusting me enough to give it a whirl ;) and to even be thinking about gracing your Thanksgiving table with this is enough of a compliment already! Thank you Lauren <3

  • Reply Erin Bruno November 16, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    I have a funny question! My oven is broke, and I wanted to make this recipe for thanksgiving. Do you think it’s possible to make this on a temperature controlled grill on top shelf ? Thank you for your time!

    • Reply Faring Well November 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Hi Erin! I am so sorry to hear about your oven. As for the grill option, if you are able to keep the temperature steady I don’t see why it wouldn’t work – maybe a test run would be a good idea first though!

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