As much as I love experimenting with food, I am not always the most creative in the kitchen. Well, it’s either that or I just doubt my own skills from time to time and that hinders me from trying new things. That’s why I love recipes; it’s not because someone else has done the work, but because recipes are precise, and reliable. And if I mess something up, I know that I messed something up.
But in the middle are the recipes that need some tweaking, such as non-vegan recipes that are turned vegan. I love the simplicity of the challenge and the surprising end result, which can end up being a different dish altogether.
One such example is this provencal summer squash and potato gratin recipe on Food Network. The person directly above me at work mentioned she’d been making it recently, so I thought I would try to veganize it. This wasn’t too hard, as it simply required leaving out the cheese, but as I went to buy the vegetables I realized I would have to improvise, as I couldn’t find yellow squash. Instead, I subbed in the eggplant that the recipe suggested. I also ended up using homemade vegan cheese, and left out the rosemary, as M. is not a fan.
In the end, it turned out good, although slightly different, but it seems like a recipe that can be modified pretty easily, depending on the vegetables on hand and the flavouring you want to go for. I
-Thinly slice 1 eggplant, 1 medium zucchini, 1 small potato, and 1/4 onion, and layer them in a baking dish.
-Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add herbs of your choice, and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on top.
-Cover the vegetables with aluminum foil and bake at 375 F (~190 C) 35 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
-Remove the foil and sprinkle with cheese (I used Tofu Chèvre) and continue baking another 45 minutes until the cheese is browned.
-Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve.