Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Individual Spinach-'Asiago' Gratins

Believe it or not there's been a feeling of autumn in the air at night, this past week, even though the days are still humid and hot. Tonight I'm taking advantage by making a vegetable gratin that features fresh summer vegetables, but that's warm and comforting on a cool night... I'm going to be a doing a few different gratins in the next week or so, and they all sound delicious! So here's the first:

In a food processor, pulse a one-ounce slice of firm white bread (such as the Organic soft white from the Vermont Company) in a food processor, into coarse crumbs. Add one tablespoon parsley and pulse until combined. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray, and melt one teaspoon vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in the skillet. Add 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion and 2 minced garlic cloves; saute for 3 minutes. Add half a 10-oz package of fresh spinach (coarsely chopped); cook an additional 2 minutes until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the remaining half of the package, and cook another 2 minutes until the spinach is thoroughly wilted. Remove from heat.

Place a tablespoon and a half all-purpose flour in a bowl. Add one cup plain soy milk, stirring with a whisk until combined. Pour the flour mixture into the skillet, along with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and a dash of nutmeg, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thick. (The original recipe said it would be bubbly as well, but I found that - while mine thickened - it didn't bubble. I chalked this up to differences between cow's milk and soy milk).

Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup grated 'cheese' and stir until the 'cheese' melts. Of course the original recipe called for Asiago; try the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods.

Divide the spinach mixture evenly among 4 (4-oz) ramekins while you preheat the oven to a broil. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumb mixture you made earlier. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet and broil for one minute until the tops are lightly browned.

Each individual gratin is 120 calories. Serve this as a pretty side dish to the vegan entree of your choice!

sweet onion $0.51
fresh spinach $2.49
plain soy milk $1.00
vegan mozzarella $3.39
parsley $1.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance