- Put the non-dairy milk in a saucepan and heat over medium-low until just on the verge of boiling.
- While heating the milk, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium.
- Mix the two flours together and add them to the hot oil while whisking.
- Continue to whisk the mixture for a couple of minutes, then slowly add the warmed milk while continuing to whisk.
- Season with salt and freshly ground nutmeg and cook over low heat for 30 minutes until the sauce is smooth and relatively thick.
- Remove from the heat and strain into a clean container. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the sauce and cool completely or use right away.
Traditional béchamel is a white sauce of butter, flour and milk that helps bind the components of scores of Italian dishes. This vegan version is a smooth, luxuriantly creamy béchamel that is one of the most useful preparations for any cook, as long as you follow three simple rules.
- First, never allow the flour to become colored when you cook it with the oil or it will taste pasty and burnt.
- Next, add the milk to the flour and oil mixture gradually and off heat to keep lumps from forming.
- Finally, never let the sauce boil too long or the starch granules will burst and the sauce will eventually split.
Béchamel takes so little time to prepare it is best to make it just when you need it so you can spread it easily while it is still soft. If you need to make it in advance, reheat it slowly in a double boiler while stirring until it is once again supple and spreadable.
Soy milk is better than nut milks which can make the sauce sweet.
You can also make a nice gluten-free vegan version by combining 50 gr. olive oil with 60 gr. rice flour. Use 5 dl. rice milk to maintain the gluten-free aspect of the sauce. Follow the same procedure as below.
There is also a recipe on our website for a cashew-based Béchemal sauce