Vegetable Pot Pie
Oh, the weather outside is frightful…in July, in Minnesota! I’ve heard it’s been unseasonable cool in many parts of the the country, but when one starts thinking about pot pies and gratins in the middle of the summer, you know it’s severe! Saturday topped out at 65 degrees on a day that in years past has delivered 95 degrees with a dew point of 70. I absolutely hate too much heat so I should be thankful, but I really think something is wrong when I start shopping for a Riviera Maya vacation for August! At any rate, I made a warm and satisfying vegetable pot pie for a cool summer day! It is a summer treat as all the vegetables were all from this week’s CSA box.
The recipe involves three parts: the vegetables, the roux and the pastry.
2 cups onion finely diced
2 large fennel bulbs thinly sliced
2 tbs. canola oil
3 cups diced carrot
2 cups chopped green beans
1 small cauliflower head cut into small florets
5 leaves kale, deveined and chopped
2 cups cooked white beans
3 Tbs. canola oil
3 Tbs. flour
3 cups hot water
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. brown mustard seed
2 tsp. good curry powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
I would recommend you make the pastry first. It can cool in the fridge while you prep and cook the veggies. I used the food processor method for the pastry. Start by mixing the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add diced butter and pulse a few times until it looks like a crumble. I like to pulse the machine and add the ice water in a slow dribble just until it comes together. Dump the dough out onto the counter and knead quickly into a ball. Place it in a covered bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Next, get all the veggies washed and prepped. I sauteed the onions and fennel over a low heat for about twenty minutes bringing them just to the point of caramelization. At that point, the rest of the vegetables can be added at the same time and sauteed for a few minutes. They will get baked in the oven, so you don’t want to overdo it.
The roux was fun to make because I had the idea to toast the spices with the flour and oil and it seemed to work! After I added the flour to the heated oil the mixture was pretty dry – perfect for toasting spices. I added all the spices and kept them moving around the pan until I heard the pop of the mustard seeds. I gave them a few more seconds to toast and then added the water. This boiled up quickly, so be ready to turn the heat down a bit. I whisked it all together until the lumps were out and finally, mixed it in with the vegetables. Once the roux and veggies are mixed, you can spoon it into a baking dish. I like the idea of making individual pot pies, but today opted for a one-pan quick method. I rolled out only about 1/2 of the pastry and cut it to fit the baking dish. I then cut it into six sections and premolded each so I could easily scoop out the pot pie without breaking up the crust. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 375 degrees until it is brown on the top – perhaps 50 minutes to an hour.