Butternut Squash & Celeriac Gratin

It's not often that I miss 'normal' foods and it's even less that I miss traditional comfort foods such as macaroni cheese.  However, on the days that I do, I like to have something up my sleeve that will give me the same satisfaction as gorging on a whole tray of cheesy pasta delights, but without all the pitfalls that follow.

The added bonus to this dish is that you won't finish your meal feeling guilty, sick, bloated and like you can't eat another thing for a month.  

If you need comfort food, this is the way to go...

Ingredients
Serves 4-6 as a main

The top half (use the bottom half for roasting) of a large butternut squash (approx. 750g)
300g celeriac, peeled and grated
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
200g unsmoked back bacon (high welfare), cut into lardons
4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

SAUCE
200g cashews, soaked for 4 hours, then rinsed
3 gloves garlic, peeled
150ml water
2.5tbsp nutritional yeast
2tbsp olive oil
Himalayan or sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method

- Preheat oven - temp 180C

- Peel the butternut squash.  Slice it in 4 lengthways.  Thinly slice each quarter into approx. 2mm slices.  Put it in a large mixing bowl along with the grated celeriac and sliced leeks.  Add ¾ of the bacon (you may need to separate it) and the thyme leaves.

- Blend the ingredients for the sauce together in a food processor until the cashews are finely chopped but not yet smooth.  Season well with salt and pepper and blitz to combine.

- Add the sauce to the vegetables.  Stir well to combine.  Transfer to a roasting dish a handful at a time, stacking the squash pieces upright – this will make for some lovely caramalised bits once cooked.  Top with the remaining bacon and cover loosely with tin foil.

- Roast for 50 minutes before removing the tin foil and roasting for a further 20 minutes to caramalise.

- Serve either on its own as a main, or as a side.


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