Vegan Butternut Squash Gratin with Kamut Berries
This butternut squash gratin a really creamy flavourful dish with a mouthful of textures from the kamut grains and beautiful flavours from the butternut squash, smoked tofu and rich cheesy bechamel sauce. This is a complete meal in itself, although you may serve it as a side dish as well. It’s nut-free and can be made gluten-free by omitting the kamut. It’s easy to make ahead — great for special occasions and gatherings.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Soaking Time12 hrs
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Servings: 2 mains, or 4 sides
- 200 g dried whole kamut grains [1 cup], use brown rice for gluten-free
- 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 550 - 600 g butternut [about one large] peeled and sliced into thin discs
- 400 ml coconut milk [1 can]
- ½ teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
- 180 ml water [3/4 cup] or use vegetable stock and omit the bouillon powder
- 2½ tablespoons tapioca starch or potato starch
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast if not using vegan cheese, add an extra ½ tablespoon
- ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 100 g smoked tofu [about ½ block], or just regular firm tofu, sliced thinly - see notes
- 50 g spinach [1 cup]
- 4 - 5 sprigs thyme
- Vegan grated cheese optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare and cook the kamut grains:
Soak the kamut grains in plenty of water for at least 12 hours or overnight.
The next day, drain and rinse the grains. Place in a deep pot and add 2½ cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium and cook for about 1 hour or until the grains are gorged and tender.
Alternatively, you can cook the kamut in a pressure cooker (at maximum pressure) for 22 minutes. Then let the steam go down naturally before opening the cooker.
Drain the remaining liquid and set the kamut grains aside.
You may do this in advance and freeze the grains. Then defrost and use whenever needed.
Prepare the butternut squash:
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.
Meanwhile peel and slice the butternut squash into discs.
Drizzle some olive oil onto the butternut squash. Toss to coat them evenly then place them in a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes until almost done.
While the butternut squash is roasting, make the creamy white sauce.
Make the creamy white sauce:
Place all the ingredients for the white sauce in a saucepan and heat on medium temperature.
Stir regularly and more constantly when the mixture start to thicken.
Once thick and creamy (about 10 - 12 minutes), remove from the heat and set aside. Do not allow this mixture to boil.
Make the casserole:
Slice the tofu thinly or cut into chunks.
Remove the butternut squash from the oven and remove one layer of squash from the dish, set aside.
Drizzle ¼ of the white sauce onto the first layer of squash then top with the thyme leaves.
Layer with half of the boiled kamut grains then top with a few spoonfuls of the sauce and vegan cheese (if using).
Add the spinach leaves, a few spoonfuls of sauce followed by a layer of tofu and some more kamut grains. Drizzle some more sauce.
Add a final layer of the butternut squash and top with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with some more thyme and some cracked black pepper.
Bake (uncovered) for about 30 - 35 minutes until golden.
Remove from the oven and let stand for about 8 - 10 minutes before serving.
Enjoy as a main dish or side dish.
If using regular tofu (instead of smoked), you may want to lightly pan-fry it with a little soy sauce first for more flavour and texture.
Link to original recipe - Vegan Butternut Squash Gratin with Kamut Berries