The star of the show here is the bechamel – in a blind taste test, you’d never guess it was vegan. What’s more, it’s incredibly versatile. Here, I use it as the base for a galette topped with caramelised onions; you can also use it to make lasagne or cannelloni and moussaka (next week, I’ll show you another way to use it). Experiment with the flavour profile by subbing the curry powder for different spices or fresh herbs (which you can blend straight in), but I’d recommend keeping the nutmeg in the mix, because it lends the sauce a lovely, sweet nuttiness.
Curried caramelised onion galette
Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr 15 min
1 x ready-rolled puff pastry sheet, suitable for vegans (it usually comes in a 320g or 375g pack)
2 medium onions, peeled and halved
2½ tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
¾ tsp mild or medium curry powder
¼ tsp fine salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 big pinch flaked salt
10g dill leaves
10g basil leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
Chipotle (or regular) chilli flakes, to serve
For the curried bechamel
300g silken tofu, very well drained
40g white miso paste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried onion granules
1 small garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
½ tsp mild or medium curry powder
Lots of freshly grated nutmeg (or ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg)
¼ tsp fine salt
Freshly ground black pepper (about 10 twists)
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Unroll the pastry on to a large, flat baking tray. Put all the ingredients for the bechamel in a blender and blitz until completely smooth.
Very thinly slice the onion halves (use a mandoline, if you have one), then toss in a bowl with the maple syrup, olive oil, curry powder, fine salt and plenty of pepper and set aside.
Spoon the bechamel on to the pastry, then spread it out leaving a 3cm rim all around the edges. Spread out the onions on top of the bechamel.
Fold the rim of the pastry up and over the onions around the edges, then brush the exposed pastry with oil. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and flaked salt over the exposed pastry, pushing the seeds into the pastry so they stick.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven and turn down the temperature to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. The onions will at this stage have shrunk and clumped together a bit, so spread them out once again – this is to ensure they cook evenly. Drizzle with a little oil, return to the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the rim is puffed up and a deep, golden brown, then remove (keep an eye on it, just in case).
Turn the grill to its highest setting, then grill the top of the galette for a minute or two, or until the onions take on some more colour. Keep a very close eye on things, though, because you don’t want to burn the pastry; you just want to char the onions a little (if you have one, use a blowtorch to char the onions instead, because that will give you more control). Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the herbs with the lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt, arrange these over the top of the galette, sprinkle with chilli flakes and serve.
Ixta Belfrage’s debut solo cookbook, Mezcla, is published by Ebury in July.