Butternut Gratin with Leeks, Sage and Walnuts
2 lb butternut squash, peeled, sliced into thin disks.
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
15 sage leaves (8 more for crispy sage leaf garnish- optional)
1 cup plain coconut milk or almond creamer – or make your own with cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup water
3 ounces vegan parmesan
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Prep Butternut: Peel and thinly slice the butternut squash into 18 -inch thick rounds. When you get to the seeds, scoop them out and continue slicing. Set aside 12-15 of the “prettiest” slices for the top of the gratin. (There will be 3 layers of butternut – so you could divide into 3, placing any misshapen pieces in the middle layer) Cook the Leeks: Slice and rinse the leeks- the moisture here will help them soften. Heat oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the leeks, for 8-10 minutes, covering part way through so they soften. Add the garlic, sage and a pinch of salt, cook 2-3 more minutes.
Whisk the cream with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and onion powder in a medium bowl.
Layer in the Electric oil core skillet: ( or use 11 inch skillet so you can stick in the oven to broil the last 2 mins). Add 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the pan. Layer with Butternut squash overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with half of the sauteed leeks. Drizzle with 1/3 cup cream mixture. Sprinkle with one ounce of vegan cheese (about 3-4 tablespoons grated). Add the 2nd layer of butternut- using up any misshapen pieces here. Scatter with the remaining leeks. Drizzle with 1/3 cup cream mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Add the final layer of butternut, overlapping and pressing down so not domed in the middle. Drizzle the remaining cream mixture over top, lightly sprinkle with cheese and the walnuts. Bake for 35 minutes -bake at 400 F- medium click low.
To make the crispy sage leave garnish, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil or butter in a pan over medium heat, add 8 whole sage leaves, sauteing each side 30 seconds or so until crisp (try a tester first) and place on a paper towel to cool for a couple of minutes. Arrange over the gratin. Broil in oven for 2 min if you used the 11 inch skillet’.