Turn your favorite leafy green into a delicious vegan creamed kale gratin by baking it in the oven with a creamy cashew sauce and gluten-free crumb topping.
I should start by saying that while I generally roll my eyes at the sight of pumpkins and or anything remotely related to fall popping up in the middle of July, or when holiday displays arrive in September, by the end of October I’m in the full spirit of the holidays. So with that in mind, I thought I’d offer you a simple side for the upcoming festivities.
I’m sure many of you are already thinking ahead and planning out your menus this time of year, and I’d urge you to consider adding this creamed kale to your list.
When you think of “creamed” anything it’s probably spinach, but other leafy greens like kale are just as delicious prepared similarly. And while I do love a good raw kale salad, it’s also a wonderful green to cook with.
Now if you believe that any recipe containing the word “creamed” or “gratin” in the title must automatically be drowning in butter, cream or cheese then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this dish; it’s hearty but not overly rich and doesn’t contain a speck of dairy!
Instead quickly blanched ribbons of kale are tossed with a rich and creamy cashew and coconut milk based sauce (made in a matter of minutes in the blender), then bubble away in the oven under a golden brown topping, turning silky and tender.
It’s a substantial side that’s easy to prep ahead of time or re-heat if needed. I like to make both the topping and the sauce the day before and just blanch the greens while I’m pre-heating the oven the day of.
What you end up with is a simple dish that will take you from the holidays well into winter for both special occasions and everyday meals.
More holiday sides to try:
Turn your favorite leafy green into a delicious vegan creamed kale gratin by baking it in the oven with a creamy sauce and adding a crumb topping.
For the topping:
- ½ cup/56g almond flour
- 2 Tablespoons/ 12g tapioca flour
- ⅛th teaspoon fine sea salt
- A pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon/5g nutritional yeast
- 1 Tablespoon/15ml extra virgin olive oil
For the cream sauce:
- 1 can/400ml light coconut milk (or regular for a richer sauce)
- 1oz/28g raw cashews
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons/10ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 Tablespoon/6g tapioca flour
For the gratin:
- 2 bunches kale (or any combination of leafy greens), ribs and stems removed, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°. Grease an 8-inch low-sided casserole dish.
- In a small bowl combine almond flour, tapioca, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and olive oil with a fork until moistened and crumbly, adding a few drops of water if necessary. Set aside.
- Combine coconut milk, cashews, salt, olive oil, garlic and tapioca flour in a high speed blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
- Cook kale in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, (about 4 minutes). Drain kale, pressing gently to remove excess water and combine with cream sauce.
- Transfer kale mixture to prepared dish and sprinkle with topping; place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until gratin is bubbling, (about 20-25 minutes). Let cool slightly before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 465mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.