Cauliflower Gratin (“Cheesy” Cauliflower)
I am constantly amazed by foods that serve multiple purposes. Like avocados that can be a delicious dip for your chips, but can also be transformed into a chocolate mousse! Come on now, THAT’S impressive! In this case, I’m referring to the cashew nut. This little thing served as my creamy cheese sauce in this recipe. This is not your typical gratin full of butter and cheese. This is actually vegan!
Another ingredient I used in making the sauce is Nutritional Yeast. I wanted to give you a little information on this because it’s not commonly used and the name Yeast can be deceiving. I borrowed a description of this amazing food from Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive in hopes that it would give you better understanding.
“Nutritional Yeast is a single-cell fungus grown on molasses. A complete protein and a rich source of B vitamins, nutritional yeast is especially prized for its vitamin B12 content. Vitamin B12 is scarce in the plant kingdom; nutritional yeast provides a reliable source for those on a plant-based diet. Unlike baking yeast, nutritional yeast is not active, meaning that it does not feed and grow once inside the body. For this reason, those who are advised to avoid yeast (usually meaning active yeast) can almost always tolerate nutritional yeast.” – THRIVE, The Vegan Nutrition Guide.
Any health food store carries this product. It comes in a canister and is a flaky, almost powdery consistency and has a nutty, cheesy flavor. Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s the recipe. I hope you like it!
P.S. The “cheese” sauce is also great over broccoli.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup water
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 TBS nutritional yeast
- sea salt, pepper, ground red pepper (optional), to taste
- Preheat oven to 400*.
- Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 2-3 minutes just to start the cooking process. Drain the cauliflower in a colander and prepare the cashew cream in the meantime.
- Combine cashews, water, garlic, nutritonal yeast in blender and blend until smooth. (You want the cream to be thick, but able to be poured. Additional water might be needed.)
- Add sea salt and other seasonings to your liking.
- Place cauliflower in a 9×9 baking dish and pour cashew cream sauce over it. You can use all of it or save some to add when it comes out of the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes.