Yields: 500 ml (approx.)
Assembly & Cooking Time: ≤10mins
Tools: Non-stick pot, whisk, large wooden spoon
After perusing through some FreeFrom products in a local supermarket last weekend, it’s come to our attention that not only has the variety grown overnight, but how cheekily the supermarkets still overprice them (sauces being one of them)!
Sometimes premade food items can be a life saver- just look at how many of us buy tinned legumes?! However, now all of them are healthful (or appropriate) and where possible we should learn to make our own.
We’re certainly not by any means ‘professional chefs’, but we think that sauces are one of the basic food items that anyone can learn to prepare, such as our delicious plant-based, herby white sauce. It’s mostly inspired by a more traditional white sauce, commonly known as ‘béchamel sauce’!
We have previously used variations of this recipe as a topping to our lasagne, pasta bakes and stuffed bell peppers! It’s so versatile. You could possibly even adapt it into a tasty ‘cheese’ sauce that would be the perfect addtion to some cauliflower maccaroni and cheese, as a pizza topping or in a veggie gratin! Just add some nutritional yeast or anything else that you fancy. Alternatively you could swap our herb blend for some Herbs De Provence, parsley, or more traditional ‘béchamel-style’ seasoning’s (bay leaf and cloves).
Ours only takes a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps; whereas you’ll find that more traditional white sauces look at infusing your milk with your herbs or spices of choice first. We’ve always found that the time spent cooking our sauce was enough to thoroughly infuse it with the herbs, but if you have the time or a recipe that might benefit from this step, feel free to experiment!
A few additional things to note include:
- If you want a slightly thinner sauce, add about 10g less flour or little more milk! We think that the current consistency is great for layering between lasagne sheets or over the top of your pasta bake.
- Do not burn your margarine and flour (there’s no coming back from that!) and make sure to cook it (just ever so slightly) to help remove the floury taste from your sauce.
- You can add slightly less herbs than we’ve used (we love ours extra herby!), especially if you are not baking the sauce after it’s cooked; some dried herbs will have a bitter after taste if not cooked sufficiently.
- If you’re not using the sauce straight away, cover the pot with a lid or some cling flim.
- The sauce can be made in advance. Once cooled, re-whisk and then transfer the sauce into a resealable container and refrigerate. Tip: It’s best to refrigerate sooner rather than later to prevent a skin forming on top of the sauce. Before using, just add a little bit of milk and whisk through (this will help to ‘relax’ it).
- Feel free to use another type of DF milk; we find soya milk to be ideal (it’s nice and creamy!).
- The serving size is an approximation; it’s based on the ideal that this will be added to a pasta dish that will serve six people!
We hope that you enjoy the simplicity and the flavours of this sauce and with any luck it will save you a few extra pennies too!
Happy cooking everyone! 🙂
30g Vegan Margarine
30g Plain GF Flour
450ml Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
¾- 1¼ tsp Dried Herbs (¼ thyme & ½ of both basil, & oregano)
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
Salt and Black Pepper
1. Place a non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add 30g margarine. Once the margarine has melted, add 30g flour.
2. Using a whisk, stir the flour into the margarine until fully combined. Keep whisking for about 30 seconds; this will help to get rid of the floury taste. Tip: You have just created a ‘roux’!
3. Whilst whisking, gradually pour in the 450ml DF milk. Add the herbs and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Whisk until combined. With a whisk or a large wooden spoon keep whisking/stirring until the sauce has just thickened or your desired consistency is achieved. Tip: It’s important to keep whisking to prevent the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pot and to prevent lumps from forming. Remove from the heat.
4. Season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.
5. Serve with pasta or vegetable dishes.