‘Oooooh fancy!’ said a friend of mine years ago when I first made this.
Ever since I’ve called this my ‘call me fancy’ cauliflower and potato gratin pots.
It looks real fancy, but it’s a total cheat and takes less than 30 minutes to get from pan to plate.
You aren’t cooking a breadcrumb mixture on slow heat like a casserole, you are just toasting the breadcrumbs and adding them after – so it’s super quick and no less delicious.
It saves me the fatigue of trying to think what side dish to prepare for a main meal because it goes with pretty much anything, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser for vegans and non-vegans alike.
The real pleasure though is having it in a pot for one. Then I pile on the chili flakes and nutritional yeast to satisfy my spice and cheese fix – perfect on a cold day!
You can personalize this as much as you like for flavor, but what makes this so lovely is the al dente cauliflower and the crunchy herby breadcrumbs.
While 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs may sound a lot, it means you’ll definitely have enough to add as much or little as you like to get that soft-crunch balance just right with the cauliflower. Let’s face it, no one likes breadcrumb-regret on a gratin!
I hope you enjoy these perfect little cauliflower and potato gratin pots.
Let me know if you love them as much as I do!
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt (or more depending on taste)
- 1/2 green chili chopped
- 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower from small-medium florets
- 1 cup potato cut into dice
- 2 cups chard and spinach chopped
- 1 cup cashew cream 1/4 cup cashews + 1 cup water blended
- 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cumin (or mix of cumin and garam masala)
- 1 tsp dried herbs thyme, sage or oregano
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs of choice (ie Pankos)
Heat oil in a shallow-medium deep cooking pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chili and a pinch of salt and cook until soft and translucent.
Add cauliflower, potatoes, water and 1/4 tsp salt to the pan. Cover and cook for 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile make the breadcrumb topping. Heat breadcrumbs, touch of olive oil, salt, garlic and pepper flakes in a small skillet or pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until golden and toasted (about 3-4 minutes). Put aside.
Back to the cooking pot. Add greens and mix in then cover and cook until wilted (around 3 minutes) and cauliflower is al dente.
Take the cover off the pot and add cashew cream, salt and pepper to season, your sweetener of sugar or maple syrup, spices and herbs. If desired, add 1 tbsp nutritional yeast for cheesiness. Stir in.
Add 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce or 1/2 tsp prepared mustard or additional depth in flavor. Stir in as before.
As soon as you see bubbles reduce to a simmer and simmer until it has thickened to preference.
Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Adjust the consistency if too thick with water.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the cauliflower and take off heat. Serve hot with optional chili flakes for heat if desired.