Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin ~ The Lighter Flare

I love french inspired food, using the familiar and making it your own.  The beauty of living in the melted pot, is we get to learn from each other and infuse our cultures. The brilliance of doing this,  we create new experiences and new traditions for our families.

This french inspired gratin dish is for my vegetarians out there. You can easy make it vegan, by using olive oil, non dairy cream and vegan meltable cheese.

My memories of this dish, is my mom’s super cheesy version of her own take of potato gratin.  It almost reminded me of her macaroni and cheese, It was one of my favorite dishes. She would make it in the Fall, as soon as the weather got a little nippy. I thought about her today and with the weather changing, I decided to make a gratin in honor of her. However, I like to take dishes that are familiar and put my own signature on them. I made mines with crispy green apples, onions, garlic and white cheddar cheese. I seasoned the apples with nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper. I think my southern mama, would have approved and told me, I should have went heavier on the cinnamon, the butter and of course the cream. LOL. 🙂  The recipe is a little tart, sweet and cheesy.  It is not your typical heavy, creamy potato gratin, but  I believe it will become one of your favorite alternatives. Bon a petit!

Enjoy and Set the Table with Love. 

Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin
Green Apple and White Cheddar Gratin

Ingredients:

3 tbsp unsalted butter,  a little extra for the mini dutch oven

1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

3 med. green apples, slice with a madoline or knife, thin round slices

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

A few thyme leaves and dried fennels ( optional)

Fine sea salt and black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream, if vegan, canned coconut milk will work

1/4 cup bread crumbs, gluten free bread crumbs for those with gluten allergies

3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Few  fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the mini dutch oven, ramekin or small baking dish.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Add green apples slices. Do not use the top or the bottom part of the apple slices, just he ones that are not covered with the peel. Add the seasonings and the fennel. Stir gently to incorporate all the flavors. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Transfer half of the mixture into the baking dish. Add half of the grated white cheddar cheese and add the rest of the mixture. Pour the cream over top. Sprinkle the bread crumbs, thyme leaves,  and cheese on top. Dot the remaining 1 tbsp butter on top.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately, add the fresh thyme leaves on top as garnish.

Gluten free Vegetarian Cauliflower Veggie Pizza

I keep hearing my friends say they have gluten intolerance, so I wanted to share this enhanced version of my Cauliflower Veggie Pizza sticks. This recipe will make you feel like you are not missing the bread and also Cauliflower is a low carb veggie. Yay Me!!

Gluten Free Vegetarian Cauliflower Veggie Pizza Gluten Free Vegetarian Cauliflower Veggie Pizza

Ingredients:

Pizza Crust

1 1/2 cups grated cauliflower

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cloves garlic, grated or minced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 1/2 oz white sharp cheddar, freshly grated and divided

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup for topping

1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning, divided

sea salt

pepper

Ingredients:

For Sautéed Veggies

11/2 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup zucchini, chopped, small

1 cup yellow squash, chopped, small

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped, small

1/4 cup grated parmesan for garnish

freshly chopped basil for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grate the cauliflower, using a cheese grater or a food processor. Put the grated cauliflower onto two pieces of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven and roast for about 7-10 minutes, spread it out so it doesn’t steam.  Add the roasted cauliflower into a large bowl.  Keep the oven on and remove all the cauliflower from the sheet and spray the sheet with the olive oil and set aside.

Add the garlic, egg, 4 oz of the cheese, 1/2 cup of the vegetarian  parmesan cheese (Belgioioso, sells a vegetarian parmesan) 1/2 teaspoon of the dried Italian herb seasoning (reserving 1/2 teaspoon for topping later), and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then spread on a sheet pan forming it into a pizza crust.

Bake until set and starting to turn golden, about 25- 30 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Cut the crust into sticks. Slightly separate the pieces and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning. Broil a minute or two, until the cheese is melted and golden in spots. Add sautéed veggies and more parmesan cheese if you like. Serve hot or warm.

Directions for Veggies: Add oil to a pan on medium heat and sauté the veggies until slightly tender, top on your pizza crust with garnishes.

Enjoy and Set the Table with Love!