Friday, January 27, 2012

Chard Florentine Toast

I know I keep saying it... but I love Vegan Yum Yum. I haven't tried a recipe in it that I haven't liked, and most of them I absolutely love. This is one of those love ones, which completely surprised me because... yes, it's a vegan cheese sauce. Now, please don't judge by the pictures. I didn't even bother trying to submit them to Finding Vegan. I know the pics aren't enticing. I was too hungry to care and couldn't wait to dig in. But trust me when I say: these are yummy.

They got eaten up in almost no time at my vegan dinner party.

The book has them in the breakfast section, but I thought they'd make a great appetizer. Actually, one of my friends called them cheesey bruschetta - which made me realize, serving them on some smaller bread might be easier for larger parties or when there are many appetizer options.

Recipe (with a few minor alterations) from Chard Florentine Toast Points from Vegan Yum Yum:
Vegan Cheezy Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance margarine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp mellow white miso
  • 1 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce (low sodium) or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup soy or almond milk
  • Scant 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (I used about a Tbsp less than 1/3 cup)
  • Dash of sea salt & pepper, to taste
Chard and Toast:
  • 1 head Swiss chard
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Dash sea salt
  • Bread: Small Sourdough baguette, long French baguette, or other (I used a full loaf- about 12 slices of medium-sized bread; the amount of bread you need will vary depending on how much you pile on)
  1. Make the Cheezy Sauce: Melt margarine in a saucepan on low to medium heat. When melted, add the flour and mix with a whisk to form a roux. Add in the miso, tahini, tomato, soy sauce, and lemon juice and continue whisking. Next, add in the soy or almond milk, about 1/2 at a time, while scraping the sides of the pan to avoid buildup. Then turn up the heat a little and add the remaining ingredients. Whisk and allow to thicken, and then to boil. Turn down (or off) the heat, but stir every few minutes. 
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the chard (see my chard post if you haven't ever used it) into thin, small strips. Heat a tsp of vegetable oil in a pan and add the chard and some salt. Cover and cook about 2-3 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Mix the chard into the cheezy sauce (re-heating if necessary). 
  3. Assemble the slices: scoop a generous spoonful onto each slice of bread. To make it look more like real melted cheese, you can lightly sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top; I completely forgot to do this, and I loved the resulting taste. But, the appearance may have suffered a bit.
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes. (The book also mentions then broiling for a few minutes, which I also didn't do, but also likely added to the appearance. Her pictures are much better than mine! And there are additional descriptions of course. But these steps will still get you to an amazing treat!)

I looooooved these. I actually used the cheezy sauce (slightly modified by thinning with a tad more milk) in a vegan mac and cheese a few days later, and it worked well for that too! (OH how far I've come since my first vegan cheeze sauce experience!)

But how did these hold up to my non-vegan, cheese-loving husband? Even though everyone else (all non-vegans) at the dinner party was going back for more and loving these, my man is a cheese purist. He said he liked these, but I could tell he didn't love 'em. I finally got it out of him that he thought the cheese sauce was as to cheese as velveeta is to cheese... which I can see. It's not like this is actual melted cheese. It's a delicious sauce with awesome cheese flavor though, and luckily, healthier than Velveeta. Next time, I may follow the book's instructions more carefully on how to make the top look more like real melted cheese; another idea is to sprinkle a tiny bit of Daiya or another vegan shredded cheese that melts well just over the top. But as is, they tasted delicious. Also- I had a slice leftover and stored it overnight in the fridge... the next day, it tasted like cold pizza! Vegans everywhere rejoice! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. I love swiss chard, never thought to serve it as you have here - thanks for sharing!


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