Saturday, January 4, 2014

Weekend Cooking: Eggplant and Herb Casserole & Potato Dauphinoise, vegan style.

I love weekends because I have time to labor over special recipes and enjoy a plate of home cooked food in the comfort of my home. Today I brought out two books: Linda's Kitchen by Linda McCartney and River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Two great veggie cookbooks that I love dearly. I just got the second book for xmas and the Linda McCartney I found several years ago at a used book shop in a first edition hardcover with plastic slipcover. I was very pleased to find that one.

First up I made the Eggplant and Herb casserole from Linda's book. Layers of fried eggplant in a flavorful herbed tomato sauce with melty cheese. The recipe called for mozzarella. I used Daiya vegan shreds which worked great and gave the casserole a wonderful cheesy texture along with the silky eggplant. I also added sliced mushrooms in the layers. Really good and satisfying dish but very time consuming because of all the eggplant frying! I'd make it again though. You can find the recipe here. The recipe was originally published in this New York Times article from 1994. It's a great read by the way. I love the description of Paul hovering in the background (guitar in hand) waiting to eat!

This beautiful Potato Dauphinoise recipe is from River Cottage Veg cookbook. I didn't peel my potatoes because I'm lazy but I really should the next time I make this. It calls for heavy cream but I used full fat unsweetened soymilk instead. I probably could have used soy creamer but I didn't have any. I used A LOT of Earth Balance margarine to butter up the baking dish and added little knobs of it throughout the layers. Who doesn't love creamy, buttery baked potatoes? I loved this dish. It went very well with the eggplant casserole.

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