This is a dish that Andrea (chef at the vegetarian and vegan guest house (B&B), 3 Place des Arbres, located in the heart of France) has been cooking for a number of years. It can be made vegan (as it is in this recipe) or you can substitute the soya cream for real cream and add cheese if you want. We much prefer this dish to the Tartiflette, which is a bit too heavy for our tastes!
This recipe serves 4-6. The peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and courgette are optional – feel free to add any veg you want…
1-1.5kg potatoes (this depends on how hungry you are, and whether this is too be served as a main dish or an accompaniment), sliced – don’t wash the slices – the starch is essential!
1 large onion, sliced
1 leek, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 pepper, sliced
4 large mushrooms, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 courgette, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
150ml soya cream
150ml white wine
1 heaped tsp veg bouillon powder
A large dollop of mustard – depends on your taste, dijon, grainy – whatever
1 tsp herbs de provence
1 tsp paprika (+more for sprinkling on top)
chilli powder (optional)
Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Use a cast iron oven-proof pan, if you have one – you will find it cooks the gratin quicker than a lasagne dish…
Put half the potatoes on the bottom of the pan, season with salt and pepper, a third of the herbs, paprika and chilli powder if you want it spicy.
Layer all the other vegetables on top (no particular order – be creative!), season again.
Arrange the remaining potatoes on top, and press it down if it seems to full (don’t worry the vegetables will shrink during the cooking).
In a jug, mix the other ingredients well, then pour it over the gratin. Put the lid on (if you are using a lasagne dish cover with foil) and cook for 1 hour. Remove lid, stick in a knife to check if the potatoes are cooked (if not cover again and continue cooking, checking every 15 minutes). If so, sprinkle paprika (and if you wish at this point you can add vegan cheese, or real cheese if you are not vegan/lactose intolerant). Return to the oven, without covering it, and cook for a further 15minutes.
Serve hot with a green salad, and a large glass of sauvignon blanc.
This recipe was created by Andrea, chef at the vegetarian bed and breakfast (B&B) 3 Place des Arbres, a luxury guest house, catering for vegetarians and vegans (and the veg-curious) in Creuse, Limousin, France.