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:
Vegan Fennel & Leek Gratin with Olives & Tomatoes.
- 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.