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Vegan Creamy Dauphinoise Potatoes

Rich, warm and comforting, nothing says winter like dauphinoise potatoes. Here, The Happy Pear have worked this classic into a plant-based version using only eight ingredients.

From the book


When we were growing up, Dad used to make a variation of this for special occasions – it was such a treat! Here we make a simple plant-based version of the French classic. This may look like it takes a long time, but the oven does all the hard work and it makes a wonderful side dish.

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125g vegan Cheddar cheese
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1kg white waxy potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp plain white flour
500ml oat milk, or non-dairy milk of choice
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
40g fresh breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas 6.

Grate the cheese and pick the thyme leaves from their stems. Cut the potatoes lengthways in half, leaving the skins on, and put them into a medium saucepan. Cover with boiling water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 12 minutes until they are three-quarters cooked but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, peel and finely chop the garlic, then make the creamy béchamel sauce.

To do this, put 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add the diced garlic and reduce the heat so it doesn’t burn and cook for 1–2 minutes. Sieve in the flour and cook for another 1–2 minutes, stirring continuously with a whisk until it goes slightly golden. Slowly add the oat milk, stirring continuously. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring to be careful that nothing sticks to the bottom. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, a generous pinch of ground black pepper and 50g of the vegan Cheddar and mix well. Once simmering, add the cream layer from the tin of coconut milk and whisk until incorporated. Continue to simmer until it reaches a creamy texture, then remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if it needs it. (The remaining coconut water can be used as a base for a smoothie, or as a stock or soup.)

Cut the potatoes into 1cm-thick slices. Make an even layer of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of a deep oven dish approx. 22 x 22cm. Add a layer of the béchamel to cover just this layer of potato. Add another even layer of potato, followed by another layer of the béchamel. Repeat this process until the dish is full, saving enough sauce for the top layer, so the potatoes are totally covered. You should get three layers of potatoes in a 22 x 22cm dish.

Mix the rest of the grated vegan Cheddar with the breadcrumbs and scatter over the casserole dish along with the thyme leaves. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and is bubbling. The top will be browned and the potatoes will be cooked through. Serve as a side with any of your favourite mains.

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From the book: The Veg Box: 10 Vegetables, 10 Ways

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