I had originally wanted to start this post with a disclaimer that no fingers were harmed in the making of this gratin, but unfortunately at this point that is patently false. When I announced that I wanted to make a “lasagna but not” Ben agreed to help me mandoline sweet potatoes, which in hindsight was his first mistake. Mandolines are not for the faint of heart or slightly attention deficient. You know the rest: Ben chunked off about 2/3 of his left thumb and for a few minutes we were PRETTY SURE he was going to have 9.5 fingers forever. Spoiler alert: his thumb is fine, the ER waiting room is a weird place, and gingers need more Novocaine than regular human beings. No, seriously.
After our little trip to the ER we regrouped at home on Sunday. I made this gratin and Ben stayed far, far away from sharp objects. This gratin is inspired by the America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Book. Since that recipe has cream, butter, and parmesan, I decided to make it vegan and delicious by using tahini and coconut milk (good, plant-based richness) and threw on some vegan cheez. The result was delicious and the whole thing was devoured by the cripple in a matter of hours.
Sweet Potato, Tahini & Swiss Chard Gratin
- 2 pounds swiss chard, stems removed and sliced into thin strips
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large ones), sliced very thinly (about 1/8 inch thick)
- 2 shallots, peeled and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup grated vegan cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, then add the shallots and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir in chard and cook until just wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Combine the coconut milk and tahini in a small pot over high heat. Whisk together, stirring constantly, until the mixture is at a rolling boil. Reduce heat and whisk in nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
3. Layer the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish with half the shingled sweet potatoes. Spread the swiss chard mixture evenly on top of the potatoes. Layer on the remaining sweet potatoes and top with the coconut/tahini mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with cheese, then bake for another 45 minutes, uncovered, until bubbling and most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve warm.