Winter Root Vegetable Gratin


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp each of chopped fresh rosemary and parsley
  • 8 springs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 5 ladies vegetable stock
  • 250g white turnip, thinly sliced
  • 250g swede, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 250g butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
  • black pepper, to season
  • Toasted flaked almonds

For the topping:

  • 200g cashews, soaked in water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs

METHOD:

Sauce the herbs, celery and onion in coconut butter in a large pan on a medium heat. Pour in the stock and cook a while longer.

Alternate layers of the sliced turnip, swede and squash with the cooked onions and celery (removing the bay leaves) in a 1-litre capacity casserole dish, greased with coconut butter. Pile the layers up high as they will shrink as they cook. Season with black pepper and pour over the remaining stock; you may need not all of it but there should be enough to steam through the vegetables, bearing in mind that it will evaporate during cooking.

Put the casserole dish on top of a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven at 180C for 45 minutes or until the veg is cooked.

To make the topping, blend all the ingredients in a high-powered blender with 6 tbsp water. The mixture should be smooth. If it seems to thick, add more water. It should have the consistency of a creamy white or béchamel sauce..

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and spread the topping over the cooked vegetables. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sprinkle with almonds immediately before serving.

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