To be perfectly honest, I never was much of a gravy lover till I migrated south. I do love my gravy now though – I’ll put it on almost anything! The gravy that we are about to explore today is much like a cross between a white gravy (the kind you’d put over biscuits) and a nice caramel colored turkey gravy. What’s different about this cashew gravy though is the absence of grains, starches, and dairy. Don’t worry though, it tastes great! Even if you are not a cashew enthusiast, you’ll love this – you can’t even tell there are cashews in it.
For this cashew gravy recipe, I used a nice dry white wine (and oh yes, dry wine IS GAPS Diet friendly). It gives the gravy a wonderfully bright taste and it is paired beautifully with the fragrant thyme, tangy lemon and savory garlic. Oh, and it’s AMAZING in this Green Bean Casserole!
White Wine & Thyme Cashew Gravy
2 cups soaked raw cashews (1 1/2 cups un-soaked)
2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken, beef or mushroom broth (I suggest the mushroom!)
2 tablespoons olive oil, ghee or other oil
1 medium-sized onion (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
4-5 large garlic cloves
1/2 or more cup organic dry white wine (or 1/2 cup broth instead of wine)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme or more to taste
1 tsp sea salt or more to taste (less if using already salted broth).
Coarse ground pepper to taste
Garlic powder if desired, to taste
1. Soak the cashews for 4 hours then rinse and drain. Transfer to a food processor
2. Pull the thyme (or other herbs) off of the stems then smash the leaves with a large knife. You want to release the oils of the herb. Set aside.
3. Dice the onion & garlic then using a large frying pan, saute the onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, cook until caramelized. This will help give your gravy a nice rich color and flavor.
4. Transfer the onion/garlic mixture to food processor with the cashews. Set the pan aside for later use, do not clean it yet, you’ll want all that goodness for flavor. Add 2 cups of broth to the food processor and blend till smooth, as smooth as you can get it. This may take 3-5 min.
5. Pour the cashew mixture back into the pan that you cooked the onions and garlic in. Add the thyme and cook the cashew mixture over a medium heat for a few minutes or until it thickens and darkens up a little bit. Stir/whisk constantly so that it doesn’t burn.
6. Whisk in the wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Again keep stirring letting it thicken for a few minutes. This helps develop a richer flavor. Add the leftover chicken broth (or wine!) to reach desired thickness
7. If the gravy gets too thin don’t worry, just simmer for a few minutes and it will thicken up (stir often though). It will also thicken as it cools. I often make this ahead of time and reheat it adding more wine to thin when needed.
Makes three cups.
Note: Gravy can be made a day ahead of time, cooled and stored in an airtight container. Reheat over a low or medium-low heat, stirring constantly till warm. Gravy is very thick when cold but thins out nicely when heated. You can add a little more broth or wine as needed.