Can you see the little white potatoes hiding underneath the sweet potatoes, cashew cream and breadcrumbs? OMG! I love this dish. I have had a few potato gratin failures in my day but I finally got it right. The key is dousing the potatoes in thick cashew cream and seasoning it perfectly with salt, pepper, and few scrapes of fresh nutmeg. I like to top it off with some of my seasoned breadcrumbs so the top layer is crunchy and has it’s own special flavor.
Note: Every oven is different. It might say 325 on the dial but it is either hotter or cooler inside. I have made this dish in different ovens and the amount of time it takes it always slightly different. I err on the leave-it-in-a-little-longer-than-you-think side just to be sure all the potatoes are cooked through. I also like to raise the temperature to 350 for the last 15 minutes to make sure the top gets crispy.
Another note: I am not allowed to use a mandoline – I have cut myself one too many times, so my slices are not always even which is why I always cook it a little extra time. I just slice the potatoes as thinly as I can but not too thin and as close to the same size as I can. Remember, cooking is an art not a science!
Last note: I don’t peel the potatoes. The skin is super packed with nutrients. You can if you want to though.
Cashew Cream (makes 2 cups)
1 cup cashews
2 cups filtered water
If you don’t have a Vitamix, soak the cashews for at least four hours. Alternatively, you can buy a Vitamix. If soaked, drain, and use fresh water.
Place the cashews and water into the Vitamix and let it rip until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups cashew cream
2 smallish sweet potatoes
3 to 4 Yukon Golds or 6 to 8 Honey Golds
Salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 325.
Slice the potatoes into rounds. Line the bottom of the dish with a layer of sweet potatoes. Pour some cashew cream over the sweet potatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Rub the nutmeg over a rasp (zester) a few times so you get about 1/8 tablespoon – not too much – it can be overwhelming.
Layer the little yellow potatoes or yukons over the sweet potatoes and pour more cream over them. Season with a little more salt, pepper and nutmeg. Top it off with the remaining sweet potato slices and pour the rest of the cashew cream over the top. Sprinkle with a handful of breadcrumbs.
Bake for at least one hour and 15 minutes and even go to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Check the potatoes by piercing them with a fork. Serve alongside a nice piece of tempeh or tofu and sautéed greens or broccoli. Enjoy!