photo by David Cavagnaro
Squash, potatoes, onions, coconut milk, herbs, chili and curry paste…that’s what I had so we’ll see where this goes. It could be good. This dish was an experiment on a chilly afternoon and though it probably dips into the ‘vague recipe’ territory, I think you can handle it.
A Gratin generally consists of root or firm vegetables with cream baked in a a shallow dish with a browned topping of breadcrumbs and/or cheese, or perhaps lately it’s morphing into just ‘something baked in a shallow dish’. Think of it as a solid soup. It’s a perfect fall or winter food to prep ahead then let it caramelize quietly in the oven making the kitchen a very cozy spot indeed.
If you need a quick bake time it’s possible to slice and par-boil the the squash and potatoes before assembling the layers. It isn’t necessary, but it can speed up the bake time.
I tried nutritional yeast as a topping on part of the gratin and think it should be a permanent addition. The nutritional yeast gives an extra umami-crusty-cheesy element that helps with the gratinesque texture if you’re hoping to keep this sans dairy.
This could be a tasty Holiday alternative if you’re looking for something. Experiment with other additions to the mix like Lime Zest, Ginger, Toasted Cumin Seeds, Cardamom, 5-Spice…no end to interesting.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60-80 minutes
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Prep the Veggies and set aside in separate bowls:
1 pound Squash (Butternut may be the easiest), peeled and sliced very thin (about 2 cups)
1 large Red or Yellow Potato, sliced very thin (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small Onion, sliced lengthwise
3 Green Onions, chopped
Heat in a sauce pan, stirring:
1 13oz. can Coconut Milk, full fat
1/3 cup Chicken Stock or flavorful Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons Chili Paste
2 teaspoons Curry Powder (or Curry Paste, or Biryani Paste)
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (it may depend on the stock)
dash of Nutmeg, ground
Oil a shallow and thick walled gratin pan with:
Coconut Oil (or whatever you have)
Spread out the layer of thinly sliced Squash and sprinkle with Salt.
Spread the Onions and Green Onions over the Squash, then drizzle half the Coconut Milk mixture over the veggies.
Next layer on the thinly sliced Potatoes and sprinkle with Salt.
Drizzle the rest of the Coconut Milk liquid and spread it around until everything is evenly coated.
Sprinkle on a top layer of:
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast (or more)
Bake at 325 degrees for 60-80 minutes or until potatoes are soft and the liquid is somewhat caramelized.
Before serving sprinkle on top:
Autumn Squash Love!
“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”