Weekends call for a special breakfast. It can be so nice to slow down and make something that you can really savor–as opposed to my normal weekday routine of running out the door with a piece of toast in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Growing up, biscuits were a treat made on Sunday mornings, so it seems only natural that they are still one of my favorite weekend breakfast options. And they become even better when you top them with a good helping of creamy gravy.
First, let’s talk about the biscuits. Over the past few months, I’ve started using a lot more coconut oil in my kitchen. And after trying it in biscuits to replace the butter, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back. Solid state coconut oil is cut into the flour just like you would do with butter, so there are still visible pieces throughout the mixture. The end result is a tender, delicious biscuit, that in this case is also studded with fresh rosemary to give it a great herb-y flavor.
The gravy is traditionally made with sausage, but this meatless version instead uses carrots and mushrooms, which bulk up the gravy nicely. The mushrooms in particular really help give it that meaty, substantial texture you would find in a sausage gravy. More fresh rosemary and just a touch of vegan worcestershire increase the savory flavors in the mushroom gravy and mimic those found in the classic dish.
I tried a number of times to use coconut milk in the gravy portion of this recipe, but it doesn’t smooth out quite like regular milk, and it separates from the olive oil. So vegans may want to try another option. You can, however, absolutely use coconut milk in the biscuits; that works great!
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the two kinds of flour, rosemary, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add in the coconut oil and use a pastry cutter to cut the oil into the flour. Continue until it resembles evenly sized crumbs. Add in the milk and mix until the dough comes together (start with the extra 3 tablespoons and add the 4th if the dough is too dry).
Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle that is about 3/4 inch thick. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut out rounds from the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Pat together the scraps and cut out additional biscuits until the dough is used up (this will be about 5 biscuits total using a 3-inch biscuit cutter). Brush the tops of the biscuits lightly with milk.
Bake for about 15 to 16 minutes, until very light golden brown (they will barely brown in the oven).
Make the gravy:
Set a medium-large skillet over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the carrot and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring the entire time. Add in the rosemary, tamari, worcestershire, liquid smoke (if using), salt and pepper. Let the mixture come to a gentle simmer. Continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until it has thickened. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, spoon some of the gravy over a biscuit. Top with a sprinkle of fresh chives and serve immediately.