Ever since we got back from Japan all I have been doing is trying to figure out how to have more Japanese food in my life. Also I bought a packet of some Matcha Sesame Salt that I just had to use – right now. After seeing all the spring produce come out and thinking about how I didn’t get to have gratin in Japan, I came up with this Spring Time Vegan Veggie Miso Gratin. Now, why add miso? Because it gives it this umami edge. It plays with your taste buds in a fantastic way and it also comes with the added benefits of being fermented. Miso has good bacteria that you need people!
This gratin is made with almond milk and cashew based mozzarella. The cheese that I used is a bit on the sweeter side, so adding the miso was the perfect counter balance.
To make the gratin you first buy a bunch of veggies from the market. I used purple broccoli, broccolini, a rainbow hue of heirloom baby potatoes, asparagus and red onion.
The next step is to blanch the veggies in boiling water and then cool them down really fast in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. It’s in important step to dry the veggies before you put them in your baking dish or else the bottom will be filled with water. After you flash chill them drain the water and then place on a dish towel to absorb as much of the water as possible.
The only veggie I didn’t blanch was the red onion. They were cubed up and then sauteed in some olive oil to get a little carmelized to kick start the process.
Ohh, I forgot to mention that I also added some cubed bread into the gratin. It absorbed the cream and got all crispy. There were no regrets adding that in at the last minute!
While in Japan I stumbled upon a salt shop that had the most amazing variety of salts. The one I wanted to use right away was the Matcha Sesame Salt. The one that I bought was more matcha forward than salty. The salt is pretty easy to make. Start with a tablespoon of matcha and then add in a teaspoon each of sesame seeds and salt. Taste it and adjust if you wanted more matcha flavor or saltiness.
Before serving some chopped chives were also sprinkled on top of this Spring Time Vegan Veggie Miso Gratin to add some freshness. Overall it’s a pretty filling dish and rotated well during the week. Sometimes I ate it with some vegan sausages and sometimes we ate it taco style with some wasabi furikake. It’s great to make at the start of the week and fits right in to weekly meal prep.
Enjoy making my Spring Time Vegan Veggie Miso Gratin and if you need more vegan recipes you can try my Cavipatti with Vegan Saussage and Radiccio, Crispy Kale Wild Rice Salad or Very Pretty Very Vegan Nachos
Also don’t forget to take a photo and tag me on Instagram if you make it. I love seeing you make these recipes!
This Spring Time Vegan Veggie Miso Gratin is inspired by our recent trip to Japan as well as the bounty of spring produce.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Cut each baby potato in half and steam above boiling water for about 10-15 minutes until they can be poked with a knife. Set aside in a big bowl.
In a sautee pan place the onion and about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and cook until the onions are translucent. Place in the bowl with the potatoes and set aside.
Get a big pot of water boiling on the stove and next to it place a big pot of ice water.
Blanch the cauliflower for 2 minutes and then strain them out of the boiling water and place in the ice bath. Once it has cooled down strain it out of the ice water drain in a colander and dry on the dish towel. Repeat this process with the remaining veggies. Make sure your ice water is still cold after each vegetable. Replenish if needed.
Place all the cool dried veggies and bread in the same bowl as the potato and onion. Drizzle with some olive oil. I would say about 2 Tablespoons (add more if it looks too dry) and then season with salt and pepper. Pour in the baking dish and set aside.
Place the milk, garlic, ginger in a sauce pan pan and bring up to a simmer on low to medium heat. Add in the miso and use a wisk to break down the paste. Once the miso has been blended into the milk add in the cheese and turn the heat down to low just to melt. Pour over the veggie and bread mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Place on a plate and sprinkle with the matcha salt and garnish with chives. You can serve some vegan sausages on the side.
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