Golden Courgette, Cashew and Basil Bake (Vegan)

This is a blockbuster bake.  Layers of golden courgette, chard, green cabbage, onion, tofu and mushrooms, all smothered in a creamy garlic, cashew and basil sauce.  Hows that!

This was loosely based on the traditional French dish ‘au gratin potatoes’, but without the cheese, milk, butter, flour, breadcrumbs or potatoes!  So I guess it becomes a good, old fashioned bake!!  Its a healthier Beach House number after all.  I guarantee that no flavour is lost here, no enjoyment.  Just different flavours and ways of enjoying food.

We love a good bake, but generally they just turn into a cheese and fat fest.  All that oil and the incredible richness just makes us feel a little sleepy and bloated.  We fancied something baked and light and this dish hits that nail right on the head.

As usual, the local farm is producing some quite amazing veggies.  This dense courgette was over a foot long and weighed a couple of kilos, that’s a proper vegetable.  We thought about roasting it whole but then this little idea cropped up and we haven’t had baked anything for an age now.

Ready for a roasting

The tofu was added last minute, to give it a different texture and more luxurious feel.  Tofu has a certain cheesiness to it, like a vegetal haloumi. Viva tofu!   Our mate Pete gave us a fantastic Japanese tofu book from the 60’s, the entire history and different methods for producing the wonderful white stuff.  We shall be experimenting soon.  We forgot to add the sweet peppers here.  Red ones sliced thinly, that are unfortunately still in the fridge.  They would be a nice addition.  Next time.  This time, it still tastes quite amazing.

One of the best things about this dish is the leftover potential.  Tastes better the day after and is even delicious served cold.

This is an interesting little take on an old classic and with Autumn around the corner, its good to have some new ‘bakes’ up your sleeve.

Recipe Note

You can salt and pat dry your courgettes beforehand to get rid of some of their water.

The Bits – For 6 hungry sorts

Layers

1 giant golden courgette (or 2/3 normal sized courgettes/ zucchinis)

1 bunch of chard

1 bunch of spring greens (aka dark green long leafed cabbage)

1 onion

8 mushrooms

1 block tofu (250g-ish, enough for two layers)

1 sweet red pepper (sliced)

1 big handful of basil leaves

 

Sauce

1 small onion

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

1/2 cup cashews (soaked for 1 hour)

1 handful of chopped basil leaves

1 handful of fresh parsley

2/3 cup soya milk (or nut milk)

1/3 cup filtered water

1 big glug of olive oil,

Sea salt and cracked pepper

 

Topping

2 handfuls of roasted cashew nuts

 

Do It 

Sauce – In a decent blender, blitz up your cashews until a paste forms, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until a smooth liquid forms.  You may need to scape down the sides of the blender to get it all mixed evenly.

Layer of mushrooms

Layers – Slice all veggies thinly, not quite wafer, but getting there.  Remove any thick, chewy stems.  Add a little sauce to cover the base of your dish (a good thick rectangular baking dish, glass would be nice to see all the layers), begin the layering.  Start with the cabbage, courgette, mushroom, onion, pepper, chard, tofu, courgette sauce (repeat once more).  That will be three layers of courgette, it should be the last layer on top and will go nice and brown when baked.

The dish should be piled high, don’t worry it will cook down quite alot.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 mins (180oC) then remove foil and bake for a further 15 mins or until the top is nice and golden brown.

Serve

Topped with roasted cashews, we ate ours with our leaf of the moment, a carrot top salad.  Rich bakes just crave for a nice crunchy salad.

We Love It!

Hearty winter fare, but light and healthy.  Like a normal bake but without the vast amounts of grease and fat.

Yellow Courgette and Basil Au Gratin

Foodie Fact

The gold in these courgettes makes it a great source of flavanoids, a wonderful thing.  They scavenge the body looking for baddies and make us look young and keep us disease free.  Courgettes are best stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, they dry out easily.

Categories: Autumn, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Golden Courgette, Cashew and Basil Bake (Vegan)

  1. Yum this looks like the perfect dish!

    • Cheers, it was a really tasty thang. All those layers of goodness and still quite rich, even without cheese. I love this kind of vegan food, its really creative. Have fine times, leex

  2. This is such a WONDERFUL bake.it goes on my to cook list. I have been avoiding soy, but recently I had soy milk so I think your recipe will be a brilliant opportunity to try tofu! Also I would be tempted to sprinkle some hazelnut oil.sending love to you both

    • It really is Ivelina, I hope you get to try it. Pop over to Wales anytime, I’ll get one in the oven. Peace and Love, leex

      • ivelinaborislavova

        Thank you so much, Lee. I would love to . You make the main course and I will bring you a chocolate cake. Shine on ! sending blessings and love

      • leroywatson4

        Sounds magic! Jump on the ferry…..Love and light, lee and janex

  3. carol

    This looks so good and the rows if mushrooms
    are so neat mx

    • Thanks Carol, it turned out to be a really tasty bake. The cashew cream trick works a treat. Neatness is not my forte, I take this as a huge compliment. Happiness, lee

  4. Looks and sounds amazing! Anything au gratin is top on my list! Thanks for posting guys..xx

  5. Sounds and looks great, good stuff! Did you have any trouble with the courgette releasing lots of liquid though? I always seem to whenever I’m baking them, any ideas how to avoid this?

    • Thanks for that, this courgette was a dense thing, it didnt release alot of liquid, but in this recipe its no problem. It all adds to a lovely sauce! Happy days, lee

  6. Pingback: Giant Stuffed Courgettes with a Herb Camarague Rice, Sweetcorn and Walnuts (Vegan) | the beach house kitchen

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