Chessboard patterned gratin with spinach salad

Some non-vegans might assume that cookbook author Sophia patterns this gratin like a chess board, only to distract from the missing cheese melt. A false imputation! This wondeful dish is dedicated to Sissa ibn Dahir who, according to the indian legend, was the founder of the chess game. Through this game, he achieved to teach the evil ruler Shihram a lesson and made him change into a kind and modest person. The same effect should be seen when giving this dish to hungry little tyrants, a culinary metaphor of the highest quality. Checkmate! A perfect fit for your Halloween dinner.
  • Passive time: 50 m


  • 1 sweet potato
  • 4 purple potatoes
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup beetroot juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp. instant vegetable stock powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 3 tsp. olive oil
  • 400 g fresh spinach
  • 2 tsp. spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp. vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven).

  • Peel the sweet potato and the purple potatoes and cut into thin slices, leaving the sweet potato a little thicker because it softens faster. Use a quarter of the slices for the top layer and cut into quarters for the chessboard pattern.

  • Blend soy milk, beetroot juice, peeled garlic clove and vegetable stock powder together and season with salt, pepper and muscat.

  • Grease the bottom of a medium size casserole dish with 1 tsp. of olive oil. Then put a layer of purple potatoes on it.

  • Cover with red sauce and add another layer with sweet potatoes. Sauce. A layer of purple potatoes. Sauce. For the last top layer, make a nice looking chessboard pattern and bake in oven for about 30 minutes.

  • Wash the spinach thoroughly. Make a dressing out of mustard, vinegar, 2 tsp. of oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix it with the spinach and serve the salad with the chessboard patterned gratin, enjoy!

Additional information

From the book „Sophias vegane Welt“ from Sophia Hoffmann.