Vegan Cannellini Gratin

by Valerie on February 7, 2011 · 3 comments

Cannelini gratin and radicchio fennel salad

As I mentioned here, I am trying hard to streamline my approach to new recipes.  In January I focused on one cookbook and two blogs, as well as a small handful of new recipes from recipe testing and other sources.  I also relied on several repeat favorites so , while I cooked many new recipes, I also cooked many stand-by recipes.  This past week, any new recipes came only from one source:

Oyamel 047

The verdict to the approach? Great from an organizational standpoint.  This was a great way to streamline recipes I wanted to try, but I made several changes.   Some modifications were small (i.e. I modified the Tofu Saag Paneer by replacing the soy yogurt and soy milk with coconut milk beverage) but some were more significant.  The Sweet & Spicy Carrot Soup lost much of its cooking time, oil and some of its coconut milk.  The night I made it, it was late, and I relied on the Vitamix’s magic to skip cooking the carrots altogether.  I am tweaking this recipe some more, but I was very pleased with the result. 

The recipes I modified the most were these two:

Oyamel 048

Vegan Cannellini Gratin (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Low-Glycemic, Soy-Free, Nut-Free)

Adapted from Vegetarian Times

Makes 6-8 servings

To cook the beans:

  • 3/4 pound dried cannellini beans
  • 3 sprigs thyme 
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1/3  medium onion, peeled
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • stalks and fronds of 1 medium fennel bulb; reserve bulb for gratin

To prepare the vegan parmesan and the breadcrumb topping

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour (I used this one)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp parsley

To prepare the gratin

  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 2/3 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium fennel bulb quartered and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 Tbsps chopped parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling before serving (optional)

Soak beans in large bowl of cold water overnight. Drain.

Put beans in large pot (like a Dutch oven) or rice cooker or slow cooker and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Tie together thyme and parsley sprigs, and add to pot. Pierce onion half with cloves, and add to pot. Add fennel fronds and stalks to pot with 2 halved garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and cook until beans are just tender but now mushy (about 45 to 60 minutes)l. Drain beans, reserve cooking liquid. Discard herb bundle, onion and fennel. If you used a Dutch oven, wipe out pot for next step.

While beans are cooking, toast sesame seeds in dry pan until slightly brown (about 2 to 3 minute).  Place sesame seeds in food processor with nutritional yeast and salt.  Pulse for 30 to 60 seconds.  Reserve 1/2 cup of vegan parmesan and set aside.  Add garlic, almond flour, lemon zest and parsley to remaining vegan parmesan in food processor.  Pulse until well-blended, about 60 to 90 seconds.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots and diced fennel, and season with salt if desired. Cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Add diced onion, season with salt (if desired) and cook, covered, 6 to 8 minutes or until onion is soft and bottom of pan is browning, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant. Remove pot from heat and stir in vinegar, using spatula to scrape up any browned bits of onion stuck to bottom of pot. Add beans, chopped thyme, chopped parsley, the reserved 1/2 cup vegan parmesan, and 3/4 cup bean cooking liquid. (Liquid should come to about 1 inch below top of beans; add more if necessary.) Stir well to combine.

Spread mixture made of almond flour and vegan parmesan over bean mixture. Bake gratin, uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is browned and juices have bubbled down below surface, leaving brown rim around edge of crust. Cool at least 10 minutes to allow beans to finish absorbing juices. If you would like extra richness to the dish, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.  Serve warm.


With the remaining fennel, I made the following salad, inspired by the Tricolore Salad with Roquefort and Hazelnuts in Vegetarian Times:

Winter Greens Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Low-Glycemic, Soy-Free, Nut-Free)

Inspired by Vegetarian Times

Makes 2 to 4 servings

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp grain mustard
  • 1/4 tsp maple-flavored agave or maple syrup
  • 1 Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 3/4 inch-wide strips, with core chopped
  • 1/2 head of radicchio, shredded into ribbons (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel

Combine olive oil through agave.  Toss together remaining ingredients and combine with dressing.

The two recipes work very nicely together, and I loved the leftover gratin in my lunchboxes, such as this one:

Thursday lunchbox - Angle Trouble

I am submitting the salad recipe to Real Food Weekly, hosted by Diane of The Whole Gang.

I am submitting the Vegan Cannellini Gratin recipe to the following events:


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Naomi Devlin February 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

Hey Valerie! Hope to have a lovely contribution for this month's Go Ahead Honey from you? It's Love Potions and Charmed Foods…

x x x


2 missmarc February 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Both of those recipes sound delicious! especially the winter salad! kudos to you for being able to adapt recipes to your needs


3 withoutadornment February 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm

This sounds really delicious! I'm definitely bookmarking it for another day!


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