When is it going to warm up?
A couple of days in February were mild enough for me to spend a few hours in the garden turning over soil and pruning back brambles and branches before they begin their spring growth. I didn’t notice it at the time, but the next day my poor fingers and arms were scratched to bits. I was finding little pieces of thorn stuck in them for several days afterwards – must remember to get some thicker gardening gloves
So, I have a sniffly, headachy cold right now and want to do nothing but laze around and drink tea. That, of course, just won’t do (And yes, I am going to stop complaining now). I did at least manage to make this…
A dish adapted from The Complete Book of Vegan Cooking by Tony and Yvonne Bishop-Weston. There are a lot of promising recipes in this book. It’s on loan from the library so I’m going to write out some more of the recipes to make in the future.
Although we are not a vegan family at all, I would very much like to move more towards eating that way. With no pressure. This meal was delicious – so nice I’ve made it twice! Warm comforting food like this is just what I need right now.
Curried Leek and Squash Gratin
1lb peeled and seeded pumpkin or other type of squash, cut into ½ inch slices
4 tbsp olive oil
1lb leeks, sliced
1½ lb tomatoes, sliced
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cumin
½ pint coconut milk or coconut cream topped up with water
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/parsley
4 tbsp rolled oats
Salt and ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5
- Boil squash for 10-15 mins
- Heat ½ oil in a large frying pan and sauté leeks until soft
- Layer drained squash, leeks and tomatoes into large ovenproof dish
- Sprinkle with Salt, pepper, nutmeg and cumin
- Pour coconut milk into a small pan, add chilli, garlic and mint and warm gently
- Pour over vegetables and cook in preheated oven for 50-55 mins
- Sprinkle with oats and parsley/coriander and remaining oil
- Bake a further 15-20 mins and serve
Apparently (I have just looked it up), the word ‘gratin’ comes from the French ‘to grate’ or ‘scrape’ and usually denotes a topping of breadcrumbs or cheese. This recipe has neither, but a crisp topping of oats instead. You could use breadcrumbs or cheese and I’m sure they would go just as well. Interestingly, ‘au gratin’ in French also refers to the ‘upper crust’ of French society.
I may have gone a little overboard with the chilli on this second batch… it certainly helped me breathe a little easier 🙂