As I’ve mentioned before, my godmother can’t tolerate gluten. Or soy. Unfortunately, my mom’s side of the family isn’t the most adventurous or experimental when it comes to culinary traditions. I don’t even get to do the vegetables at Thanksgiving, which are always boiled carrots, and boiled green beans with pearl onions. (Next year, I’m taking over and bringing sweet leek and chicken pie, Jamie Oliver’s French beans, and boiled carrots with orange and cumin.)
So when we have family events, my aunt and I collude in order to make sure that we both have something to eat. Vegan? Gluten-free? Soy-free? Done. Luckily, I love a challenge.
I made this dish for my cousin’s sixteenth birthday party this past March. I came upon the idea of a gratin, and after some searching, decided that I would use sweet potatoes and some kind of leafy green.
I had also recently developed a vegan Béchamel sauce, and decided that Gruyère cheese couldn’t be that hard to veganise, could it? The result is a sweet, tangy, sweet, bitter dish that’s easy to prepare, can be refrigerated the night before, and is a pretty cheap investment for all of the servings that it produces.
Enjoy! And let me know how you use the Béchamel sauce and Gruyère cheese elsewhere! I’ve been meaning to get around to a vegan French onion soup…
Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato and Kale Gratin Recipe
By July 5, 2011Published:
- Yield: 1 9x13 Pan (8 Servings)
- Prep: 25 mins
- Cook: 45 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 10 mins
This beautiful dish combines orange, green, and creamy yellow in a combination that both eyes and palates will love. It's gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and the perfect invite to a comfortable Sunday brunch. The vegan Gruyère cheese adds a tart bite to the dish and helps make the flavour a little more complex. Don't be intimidated—it's so easy to prep! It goes well with asparagus quiche, vegan gluten-free scones, and an excuse to drink before noon (recommend Fontezoppa Verdicchio).
- 1 recipe vegan Gruyère (See link above.)
- 1 recipe vegan Béchamel (See link above.)
- a knob or two soy-free Earth Balance (EB)
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 bunch lacinato (flat) kale de-ribbed, stacked, rolled, and sliced into thin strips
- 3 medium sweet potatoes peeled and sliced into 1/8
- a handful fresh thyme leaves picked
- a few pinches rubbed sage
- salt and pepper
- In a large non-stick skillet, melt the EB over medium-high heat.
- When melted, add the onion and sauté until translucent.
- Grate a bit of nutmeg over the onion, stir, and then add the kale.
- Fold the kale and onion mixture to mix, cover, and steam until the kale is softened, but still crunchy (excuse to keep eating bits of kale!).
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
- To assemble the gratin, start by buttering the inside of a 9x13" baking dish.
- Spread half the sweet potatoes in one layer across the bottom of the dish.
- Sprinkle with thyme, sage, salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
- Dot with a quarter of the Gruyère cheese by spooning small spoonfuls around the layer.
- Next, spread half the kale mixture across the dish. Sprinkle with thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Dot with another quarter of the Gruyère.
- Pour half the Béchamel sauce over these two layers and press to ensure that the layers are submerged.
- Repeat with the last half of the sweet potatoes, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and another quarter of the Gruyère.
- Then repeat with the last half of the greens, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Save the last quarter of the Gruyère to dot the top of the gratin.
- Pour the remaining half of the Béchamel over the gratin, pressing gently to ensure that the gratin is submerged. It's okay if it isn't perfectly covered.
- Dot with the remaining quarter of Gruyère.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Test sweet potatoes with a fork—if they break easily, then the gratin is done. If they're still somewhat firm, then bake for 10 more minutes before testing again, repeating until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Cut and garnish with fresh thyme, freshly cracked black pepper, or a few sage leaves before serving to delighted gluten-free, soy-free family members and friends.