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Since opening her famous Notting Hill restaurant Farmacy, which Vogue called “the hottest table in town” in 2016, Camilla Fayed has been aiming to make a plant-based diet fun and accessible for anyone who might be curious. Inspired to lead a plant-based life after the birth of her first child, she quickly discovered the powerful healing benefits of this diet and created Farmacy to share her newfound philosophy with London. Now, you don’t have to book a flight or score a reservation at her restaurant abroad to taste her food. You can make the dishes in the comfort of your own home with Fayed’s new cookbook appropriately named Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook ($30).
The cookbook opens with a message: Create delicious food that’s good for the body and the earth. The recipes included are all vegan and pretty much gluten-free. While all are vibrant and attractive, they all seem fairly time-consuming. For instance, there’s nothing really “laid back” about the Laid Back Sundae, in which you have to make your own cashew ice cream, chocolate brownie, caramelized pecans, AND caramel sauce. But if you have the energy and means to tackle it, you’ll probably have an easier time digesting this vegan, gluten-free version than you would if you went to a diner and got the real thing.
Despite our hesitations, we put the book to the test and tried out Farmacy’s butternut squash and spinach casserole. This dish was easy to churn out, and the results were absolutely tasty. We cut some corners to save time (which we included in the recipe notes below). If you have zero patience like us, you can likely find similar shortcuts with other recipes in this book.
Butternut squash & spinach casserole
(Serves 4 )
Editor’s Notes: We saved time by using organic store-bought vegetable broth instead of making our own, and we soaked the cashews in boiling water for 15 minutes instead of soaking them at room temperature for 2 hours. We also used a mandoline to slice the squash thinly.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus soaking and 45 minutes cooking
For the Cashew Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours, then drained
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2/3 cup water
For the Squash:
- Neck of 1 large butternut squash, peeled and sliced in disks 1/4-inch in thickness
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup crushed macadamia nuts
For the White Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the dish
- 7 ounces (~1 cup) spinach
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- pinch of grated nutmeg
1. Place all the ingredients for the cashew cream in a food processor and blend until the mixture has a creamy texture. Add a little more water if needed to create a good consistency. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line two cookie sheets with nonstick parchment paper.
3. Put the squash slices in a bowl and toss with some of the coconut oil. Arrange the squash pieces on the prepared cookie sheets, brush with more coconut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until barely tender. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on to bake the finished dish.
4. To make the white sauce, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the spinach. Remove from the pan and put it on a board to dry. Gently pat the leaves dry (if necessary, use paper towels); the spinach must be completely dry or it will water down the sauce. Use the same pan to cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the broth, coconut milk, and almond butter, and stir to make a thick sauce. Add the spinach, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside.
5. Lightly oil a medium-sized, shallow ovenproof dish. Arrange a layer of about 10 overlapping butternut squash pieces on the bottom of the dish, then pour over some cashew cream. Repeat until you have 2 or 3 layers. Cover with the white sauce and sprinkle the macadamia nuts on top. Cover the casserole with nonstick parchment paper and bake in the oven until heated through, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 4 minutes before serving.
Looking for more plant-based recipes? Check out our DIY recipes!
(Photos, Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Farmacy, Nick Hopper and recipe via Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook by Camilla Fayed)
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