Funnily enough, very early on when blogging I made a recipe super similar to this Vegan Fennel & Leek Gratin with Olives & Tomatoes, and I had completely forgotten about it until I googled Leek & Fennel gratin. And my own recipe appeared. And I thought WHAT? Is my memory so flaky that I've completely forgotten a recipe I came up with?
However. I've decided that this recipe is just an improvement on my original Fennel & Leek Gratin.
And I do truly think it's an improvement. For a start, the photos are better. (take a peak here at the original! Hilars..)
Also, for some reason my original recipe had the leeks & fennel braised in stock, which is delicious. But you know what is even more delicious? Caramelising the leeks & fennel in the oven without the stock, whilst adding crunch & flavour with seeds, cherry tomatoes & olives.
The sweetness of the caramelised leeks & fennel is perfectly contrasted with the salt of the olives & the slightly acidic tang of the tomatoes. The nuts & seeds create a delicious crunchy contrast to the softness of the rest of the dish.
And you know what? Not only is this dish yummy to eat. It's beautiful to look at! I think maybe it would be a delicious alternative side dish at Christmas or Thanksgiving. Or alongside a nut roast for Sunday. Alternatively if you don't want to wait for a special meal, maybe serve it alongside some mashed potato & braised or baked tofu. (Actually. You could smush some of the herbs & olive oil over some well drained tofu slices & add them in to the dish to cook and I think it would taste delish. Perfect for a speedier mid-week dinner!
Handy Shopping list:
A delicious vegan gratin made with leeks & fennel. An easy side dish
- ½ bulb fennel
- 1 medium leek
- 7-8 good olives I used a mixture of kalamata and queen green olives.
- 10 cherry tomatoes I used a mixture of yellow and red, because that's what I had.
- 2 tsp pine nuts
- 2 Tbsp mixed seeds I used sesame and pumpkin. You could also use nuts such as pistachio
- Good glug olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt & pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 200C (Gas mark 6)
Finely slice the fennel.
Slice the leeks horizontally to roughly match the size of the leeks
Chop the cherry tomatoes in half.
Chop the olives into slices.
In a good oven proof dish drizzle a layer of olive oil, then layer in the fennel & leeks.
Sort of smush the oil all over the leeks & fennel
Sprinkle the herbs over evenly
Dot the olives & tomatoes around the dish. Then sprinkle the seeds (or nuts if using) over the top
Drizzle a little more olive oil over and season to taste.
Put in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until the leeks are softened and the edges are all lovely and caramelised.