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
CAULIFLOWER & LEEK GRATIN
Serves 4 to 6 as a side.
2 large heads of cauliflower
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.