If you want to impress your guests on Thanksgiving, make them this! And that goes for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. It is hearty and full of complex flavors thanks to the capers, white wine and olives; and also healthy, served on a bed of cauliflower-potato mash. The recipe is inspired from Veganomicon, a great all-purpose vegan cookbook.
Don’t get intimidated with all the steps. If you get all your ingredients ready and measured ahead of time, the process goes pretty quickly. Of course this isn’t your go-to for a quick week-night meal, but it is a great choice when you have a little more time on your hands and want to try something unique.
- 1 pound seitan
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp salt
- several pinches freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of dried thyme
- 1/4 cup capers with a little brine
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata or black olives, cut in half
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 small head cauliflower*
- About 8 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Few tbsp of non-dairy milk
Start with the Cauliflower-potato mash:
- Place potatoes in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Add the cauliflower and boil both for 10 minutes more, uncovered, until they are very tender. Cook for about five minutes longer if it doesn’t seem tender enough.
- Meanwhile, sautee shiitake mushrooms in a teaspoon of oil over medium heat until water is released, about five minutes.
- When the cauliflower is done, drain potatoes and cauliflowerand return to the pot. Add cooked shiitake mushrooms and mash everything with a potato masher until smooth, adding all other ingredients as you mash.
- If potatoes are a little dry, add more vegan butter and non-dairy milk to your liking.
- Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet (cast-iron works well) over medium-high heat.
- Cut seitan into 1/4-inch-thick long, thin pieces, slicing off rounded ends so they will lie flat.*
- Coat bottom of skillet with oil and let it get hot. Meanwhile, coat half the seitan slices in flour and add to the pan and cook until lightly browned, about two-minutes on each side. Repeat with the other half of the seitan slices.
- Place cooked seitan on a plate with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil for the green beans.
- Sauté shallots and garlic in the same pan you used for the seitan (adding more oil if necessary), for five minutes, stirring often so they don’t burn.
- Add white wine and raise heat to bring to a rolling boil. Add vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil again and let sauce reduce by half, which should take about 7-10 minutes.
- Add capers and olives and heat through for about 3 minutes. At this point, add green beans to the boiling water and cook for two minutes, and drain.
- Add parsley and lemon to the sauce and turn off the heat.
Make a bed of the cauliflower-potato mash. Add the seitan on top and surround it all with green beans. Use a ladle to douse everything in plenty of sauce.
- If you cannot find seitan strips, you can use any other type. I often use the crumbled kind as well and it comes out great.
- You can up the cauliflower-potato ratio or even just use cauliflower if you are trying to avoid potatoes.