Dauphinoise potatoes are the ultimate comfort food for this time of year, when we all need a little more light, the bright colors and spice in these potatoes help to bring a little sunshine to anyone’s day. When I was studying for my degree, I would often make batches of classic dauphinoise for days when I wasn’t feeling so great. Having them ready to heat when I didn’t feel like cooking was such a lifesaver. This recipe is a new and improved version of the potatoes I had in those darker times.
Sweet Potato and Chilli Dauphinoise with Pumpkin Alguashte [Vegan]
For the Sweet Potato:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g (1lb 2oz) sweet potatoes, washed and sliced into 2mm (1/8 in) rounds
- 400g (14oz) potatoes, washed and sliced into 2mm (1/8 in) rounds
- 200g (1 2/3 cups) cashew nuts, soaked for at least 1 hour in hot water, then well rinsed
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Freshly cracked black pepper
For the Aguashte:
- 100g (3/4 cup) pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C/400°F/Gas 6).
For the Dauphinoise:
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onion and salt. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add all the potatoes to the pan with 400ml (generous 2 cups) of water and bring to a simmer. Simmer the potatoes for about 10 minutes.
- Blend the soaked cashews with 400ml (generous 2 cups) of water in a food processor or blender for 30 seconds to make a cream.
- Pour the cashew cream into the pan with the potatoes and add the chilli flakes, nutritional yeast and some black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
- Tumble the cooked potatoes and creamy sauce in a medium baking tray with reasonably high sides. Make the top layer of potatoes quite neat, then place the tin in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until the top layer of potatoes is golden brown.
For the Alguashte:
- To make the alguashte, place a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and toast until they start to pop.
- Once toasted, transfer the seeds to a pestle and mortar with the chilli and salt and grind everything into a dust.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and leave them to sit for a few minutes to cool a little. You can eat the hot dauphinois sprinkled with the alguashte just as they are, or serve with fresh leaves, grilled purple sprouting or massaged kale.