Elegant Succotash Gratin

By the Gracious Vegan

Succotash Gratin.jpg

My friend Jo introduced me to this outstanding dish. The original recipe comes from Food and Wine, by the great Michael Romano from Union Square Café. It was dairy-heavy, so Jo and I proceeded to experiment on veganizing it. We succeeded, according to everyone who has tasted it over the last 5 years. It is my absolute favorite dish at the Thanksgiving table. Its mild flavors are perfect for Thanksgiving, but "mild" shouldn't be confused with "boring." Many succotashes are made on the stove, but this one is baked, with cashew cream, flaxseed meal, and a creative mix of spices and herbs holding everything together deliciously.

Makes 7 servings

Cashew cream. Soak the cashews in cold water for at least 2 hours, or pour boiling water over them, cover, and let soak 20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you have a high-speed blender.)

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews

Drain them, put them in the blender, add the following ingredients, and liquefy for 30 seconds to several minutes until absolutely smooth. Set aside.

  • Enough water to just cover the cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 425° and position a rack in the center. 

In a Dutch oven, cook these ingredients together until the onion is transparent and the green beans are just getting tender, about 10 minutes. Add additional liquid if necessary.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 small or medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 3 cups cooked fava beans, or frozen baby lima beans, thawed

Add the following ingredients and cook a few minutes until the corn is just cooked.

  • 3 cups corn kernels, fresh (from 4 ears), frozen (thawed), or canned
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (see note on page 8)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Turn off the heat and stir these into the vegetables. 

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped or thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • The cashew cream mixture

Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish. 

In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the seasonings. Sprinkle the crumbs over the succotash and spray with oil. 

  • 1/3 cup panko or regular dried bread crumbs (or 2/3 heaping cup fresh)
  • 1/8 garlic powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt

Bake the succotash for 15 minutes, until heated through and starting to bubble. If needed, turn on the broiler and broil in the center of the oven for 1-3 minutes at the end, just until the top is golden.

Timing: Hands-on time 40 minutes; Total time 55 minutes         

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed

Nutritional information per serving: 284 calories, 8g fat, 2g sat. fat, 45g carbs, 405mg sodium, 11mg fiber, 11g protein

Gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread crumbs

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