A Little Plate of Heaven: Vegetable Fricassee
I remember hearing about chicken fricassee when I was a young girl. It sounded silly (actually, it was referenced in a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon) and fancy all at the same time. Many years later I had my first taste of fricassee, appropriately at a fancy restaurant. It was not the traditional creamy chicken stew, just a vegetable side dish made with julienned zucchini, carrots and onions and cooked with butter and cream. It was heaven on a plate. I don’t even remember what else it was served with (maybe fish or chicken), but the fricassee is what I remember most about that meal. So I thought about how to pull off a plant-based version that didn’t use non-dairy butter or a soy-based cream that contains oil. Lately, I’ve been using a combination of soy or almond milk yogurt and cashew cream in my recipes, so I figured I’d play around with that some more. (I like this combination because cashew cream, when used on it’s own, has a tendency to dry up. The addition of the non-dairy yogurt helps keep it fluid.) The recipe came together quite easily. The vegetables are sauteed, seasoned with herbs then finished off with the “cream”. As an afterthought, I might add a splash of dry white wine before mixing in the cream. I served the fricassee over a whole grain medley (half quinoa, half Trader Joe’s brown rice-black barley-daikon seed medley), but you could also toss it with a small pasta like orzo or gemelli. Whip up a dish of Vegetable Fricassee and get yourself a little plate of heaven. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
½ cup non-dairy yogurt
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 small zucchini, julienned
1 small yellow squash, julienned
Dried tarragon or other herb, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Cooked grains or pasta
Drain and rinse cashews. Add to blender container and add enough water to barely cover them. Process on high until smooth and creamy. Add yogurt and nutritional yeast and set aside.
Heat two tablespoons of broth in non-stick skillet. Add onions and carrots and cook for about two minutes. Add zucchini and yellow squash and continue to cook until softened, stirring frequently. Add tarragon, salt and pepper and cook another 30 seconds. Add cashew cream-yogurt mixture and simmer until sauce thickens.
Serve over your choice of grains or pasta.