⅓cupraw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
2tablespoonsmaple syrup, plus extra
1tablespoonolive oil, plus extra
3-4drops liquid smoke
4smallsweet potatoes(about 1 kilogram total)
1tablespoonfresh thyme leaves, minced
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set out an 11-inch round or square baking dish.
In an upright blender, combine the drained cashews, nutritional yeast, onion powder, maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, Tamari, garlic, liquid smoke, and water. Blend on high until completely smooth and cream-like. Set aside.
Peel the sweet potatoes. Using a mandolin slicer, slice the sweet potatoes about ⅛ inch thick.
In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with ⅓ cup of the cashew cream mixture.
Once all slices are a bit wet and coated, start arranging one layer of slices in the baking dish. Sprinkle a bit of the minced thyme and some salt and pepper on top. Pour in a bit of the cashew cream mixture on top. Repeat this process until you have enough sweet potato slices for the top layer.
I like to do the top layer in a pretty, concentric circle. Pour the remaining cashew cream mixture over top. Season with salt and pepper and finish with the minced thyme.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are starting to become tender. Remove the foil, and use a pastry brush to distribute some of the cashew cream mixture all over the surface (it will have settled on the outer edges). Drizzle the top with olive oil, and bake uncovered for another 20 minutes, until browned on top. I like to pop it under the broiler for a minute or two to get extra colour.
Straight out of the oven, drizzle a little bit of extra maple syrup over the top. Serve the sweet potato gratin hot. I like to garnish with some extra time leaves.
It’s better to source sweet potatoes that are smaller in diameter if you can–about 3 inches is ideal.
Fresh thyme is so, so good in this dish, but half the amount of dried thyme will also work.
I only do the top layer in a pretty concentric circle! The layers leading up to it can be laid down into the baking dish without fuss.
At certain points, it will seem like there’s too much liquid/”cream” in the baking dish. As it sits, it will settle and absorb!
This vegan sweet potato gratin has richness from a savoury and sweet homemade cashew "cream" that features maple syrup, nutritional yeast, onion powder, Tamari, liquid smoke, garlic, and raw cashews. So deeply flavourful and the bubbly and browned top is gorgeous with a spiral pattern and minced fresh thyme.