Vegan white sauce proves that butter is a decadent monarch – 03/16/2023 – Terra Vegana

Vegan white sauce proves that butter is a decadent monarch – 03/16/2023 – Terra Vegana

Let no French culinary purist listen to us, but butter is not the absolute monarch of white sauce.

Let me explain: béchamel —or white sauce— is prepared from “roux”, a thickener traditionally made with wheat flour and butter. But it’s not because tradition dictates the recipe that we need to follow it to the letter, especially when we have healthier fat and with less environmental impact at our fingertips. How about replacing the decadent monarch with olive oil?

By making this switch, we opted for an unsaturated fat —the one that cardiologists consider a “good fat”—and even managed to lower the proportion between fat and flour in the preparation of the sauce.

While in the traditional recipe the proportion is usually 1:1 (70 g of flour to 70 g of butter, for example), with olive oil we can cut the amount of fat in half, precisely because it is already in a liquid state. . Wow!

For those who doubt that the sauce without butter will turn out to be a tasty sauce, there is only one alternative: try our recipe. But be careful, it’s not worth skipping steps.

The recipe is very simple, but don’t leave it to prepare it at lunchtime. We want milk (vegetable and sugar-free) that is absolutely flavored and chilled when making the sauce. To flavor the milk, let’s follow the tradition (after all, we don’t need to cut all the heads) and make use of piqué onion, which is nothing more than an onion cut in half with a bay leaf skewered by cloves.

Just add the onion and milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Once the milk comes to a boil, the job is done. We can turn off the heat and remove the onion (which can be saved for other preparations).

Now comes the cat jump: taking the milk to the fridge. With the cold milk, we don’t run the risk of our béchamel becoming lumpy and we reach the perfection of a smooth white sauce, without lumps.

As cow’s milk is quite greasy, I suggest opting for oilseed milk, such as cashew nut milk. Once again we have the chance, with this exchange, to choose a healthier and more sustainable alternative for our bodies and the planet. Is vegetable cuisine fantastic or not?



1 liter unsweetened vegetable milk

½ cup wheat flour

¼ cup of olive oil

½ onion

1 bay leaf

3 cloves

1 teaspoon of salt

freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Start with the piqué onion: stick the bay leaf with the three cloves into the straight part of the onion.

  2. Place the piqué onion and the milk in a pan. Take it to the fire. Once it boils turn off and remove the onion. Transfer the milk to a pitcher and take it to the fridge – the milk must be completely cold when preparing the sauce.

  3. Add the oil to a pan and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the flour and stir for five minutes to cook the flour.

  4. Add the chilled milk to the pan all at once, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid lumps.

  5. When the sauce is consistent, turn off the heat. Season with salt, nutmeg and black pepper. Serve with the pasta of your choice or use the béchamel in other preparations, such as gratins or creams with vegetables.

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