About Tori Avey

Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...

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  1. Dana says

    5 stars
    I continue to love this recipe! My only note is that I find two sweet potatoes not to be enough to cover the pan twice, and three would be better. Today I only had a half can of coconut milk so I substituted a bit of macadamia milk. I crave this dish!

  2. Dana says

    5 stars
    I’ve been holding onto this recipe and I’m so glad I finally made it. It’s simple but refined at the same time. Absolutely delicious! I only had frozen spinach on hand and it was perfectly fine.

  3. Jen R says

    5 stars
    Made this for a dinner party last night. I am vegetarian with many food intolerances, everyone else at the party are big meat eaters. I asked to bring a side dish that I could eat and that everyone else would enjoy. Searched the internet for some of the ingredients I had on-hand at home and your blog came up. I don’t cook with olive oil, so substituted coconut oil. I also don’t do margarine, and I’m not vegan, so I used ghee. Other than that I stayed true to the ingredients. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe, SO DELICIOUS! Thanks for posting.

  4. Paula Bute says

    5 stars
    I planned on making this for Passover but never got around to it. I made it for dinner tonight and it was delicious. I don’t have a mortar & pestle so I did the best I could with a spoon & ceramic bowl. My first time using saffron and coconut milk. The sauce did spill over so next time I will put a baking sheet under it in the oven. Will absolutely make this again. It was a big hit. Thank you for the recipe.

  5. Ilana says

    5 stars
    I was looking for a gluten-free vegan Passover recipe — a tall order, I know — and came across this dish. It was easy to make and was a huge hit! Even the meat eaters in the crowd loved it! Despite the copious amounts and variety of foods were served, this dish was devoured! Not only was I asked to share the recipe, but I was asked if I could bring it for the second seder tomorrow night. Thanks!

  6. Jennifer says

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe! Especially for a pot luck type of event as it can be served hot or at room temp? My only recommendation is to have the sauce settle a bit into the dish so people can see the sweet potatoes.

  7. Jill Evans says

    5 stars
    Uniquely delicious! With every bite, I fell more in love with this dish, as did everyone else at the table. I need to seek out more saffron rich recipes. Thanks Tori!

  8. Khaleesi says

    This sounds delicious and perfect for the dish I am looking to make for a sick friend allergic to so many things. I have the saffron but no mortar or pestle. Can I grind in a processor or just use the strands as they are? What can you suggest as alternative? Thank you.

  9. Sue says

    My family is not a big fan of saffron or tumeric. Can I omit the spice? Or is there something more mild or common that I could substitute? The sweet potato, spinach and quinoa combo sounds great!

    • Tori Avey says

      Hi Sue! Saffron is integral to the overall flavor, it imparts a cheesiness to the sauce. You could try adding a bit of nutmeg to make it more like a béchamel sauce, but it might lack the buttery flavor of the original, which relies on saffron to enhance the savory flavor. As I haven’t tried it myself I can’t say for certain.

  10. Anne says

    5 stars
    I just deiscovered your website – and this recipe – while searching for vegetarian, gluten free entrees that could be used for Passover. It exceeded all expectations and was enjoyed by everyone. I made it a week ahead, baked it completely, and then froze. It reheated well and was delicious! Definitely a keeper – thank you!

    • Tori Avey says

      Hi Denise, thank you for the heads up. I have never had an issue broiling with Pyrex, as I generally only broil to brown at the very end of cooking for less than 5 minutes– I never leave it under the broiler very long. But you are right, it is probably safer to use a metal baking pan instead– or skip the broiling step. I’ll note it in the recipe.

    • Tori Avey says

      Hi Cara, I don’t recommend ground saffron here– good quality saffron comes in threads, and the ground kind is often cut with less expensive spices which reduce the potency and flavor. If it’s your only option you can try 1/8 tsp, and stir it directly into the sauce (no need to add it to water first). Taste the sauce and adjust for flavor, adding more seasoning to taste if desired. Good luck!

    • Tori Avey says

      If you can find buttery flavored coconut oil, try that! Otherwise regular coconut oil will work, but it won’t turn out quite as creamy flavored. Important if you are subbing these ingredients to taste the sauce after it thickens, and adjust the seasoning to taste.

  11. Judy W says

    Hi Tori,

    My son recently went vegetarian and I am looking to make this for upcoming passover. I do a lot of my cooking in advance so that I am not crunched before the 1st Seder. If one were to make this a day ahead of time and put it in the fridge would you leave the sauce for the day of and make everything else?

    • Tori Avey says

      You can roast the potatoes ahead and also make the quinoa spinach filling, stored separately. Definitely wait until the day of to make the sauce, assemble and bake.

  12. Diana Syverud says

    5 stars
    I just made this gratin for a New Years Eve dinner I hosted! It was incredible! Several people asked me what kind of cheese I used! It was so quick and easy except I started snacking on the sweet potato chips and had to make another batch. It is rare I do not alter a recipe but this one is perfect! My vegan friends (and omnivores) all loved it!

  13. Batia says

    Hi. This recipe looks wonderful, I am planning on making it for this Shabbat. I don’t have potato starch on hand, I am wondering if I can use brown rice flour instead. If so, would I use the same quantity? If brown rice flour wouldn’t work, what can I use instead of potato starch?
    Thank you in advance.
    Your recipies are great

    • Ashley at ToriAvey.com says

      Hi Batia, Tori’s assistant Ashley here. I’m not sure how to sub correctly using brown rice flower since we haven’t tried it, but cornstarch is typically the best sub for potato starch. Hope this helps!

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