Inspired by this beautiful basket of late season produce, I decided to make a pot pie. Who doesn’t love breaking through a crisp buttery crust to reveal a steaming treasure of tender morsels swimming in a rich gravy? It’s hard to resist, and on a night when the temperature falls from the warmth of summer into the cool crispness of impending autumn, it’s welcome indeed!
I happened to have pie crust dough in the freezer so it was only matter of thawing it out and readying it to go on top of a casserole of creamy just picked vegetables. You could use a frozen one from the store if you want.
This is an extremely loose recipe. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. The vegetables and herbs are all from the garden, and that is the most important factor to me. The method is to cook the vegetables separately, make a roux, add the vegetables back, cook until heated through – transfer to baking dish, top with crust and bake until top is golden brown and pie is bubbly.
Vegetable Pot Pie
For a 9×9 baking dish I cut up about 8 cups of vegetables, it seems like a lot but they do cook down, if you have extra they can be set aside for another use.
3 small potatoes cut into 1/2″ (1 cm) dice
3 carrots cut into 1/2″ (1 cm) dice
2 cups (500 ml) green beans cut into 1″ (2.5 cm) pieces
2 small onions diced
1 small (baseball sized) eggplant cut into 1/2″ (1 cm) dice
2 cups (500 ml) diced sweet peppers – the more colors the better!
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) butter
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) flour
2 cups (500 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml)rosemary minced
1 tablespoon (5 ml) oregano minced
1 teaspoon (5 ml)fresh sage minced
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup oil (60 ml) divided for sauteing
Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a large saute over medium-high heat add some oil, potatoes and carrots a pinch of salt and cook stirring often until not quite tender
- Add 1/4 cup water, rosemary, oregano and steam saute until water is mostly evaporated – remove to a bowl
- In the same pan add a little more oil, add the peppers and onions and sage, a pinch of salt and saute, stirring often until tender crisp – remove to the same bowl that has potatoes and carrots
- In same pan add a little more oil and add eggplant and green beans , a pinch of salt and saute until tender crisp – add 1/4 cup water and steam saute until water is evaporated – remove to same bowl as other veggies
- Wipe out the pan and return to heat
- Add butter and melt until foaming, add flour a little at a time and whisk until all flour is incorporated
- Continue to cook and whisk until flour takes on a nut brown color and the flour smells more toasty than raw – the texture should be that of loose cake frosting
- Add milk a little at a time, whisking constantly as it incorporates until thick and bubbly – add more milk as needed to make a medium thick gravy
- Season with pepper – check taste (don’t add salt yet as you’ve added salt to vegetables sautes)
- Add vegetables back to gravy and stir to coat
- Reduce heat to medium low and warm vegetables through. Taste and adjust seasonings again as needed
- Pour mixture into greased baking dish, top with crust.
- Place baking dish on rimmed baking sheet (in case of drips) and put into hot oven.
- Bake about 1 hour or until top is flaky and golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.
It was how I imagined – flaky tender pie crust, savory vegetables – perfect for a autumn meal.
Basic Pie Crust
I use a food processor, but you can do this by hand
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
6 Tablespoons (90 ml) of unsalted butter – chilled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable shortening chilled
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) ice water
- Mix together flour and salt
- Add butter and shortening and combine (or pulse in Food Processor) just until mixture is like coarse corn meal with some pea sized lumps of butter.
- Add 3 tablespoons water over the evenly and combine (or pulse) until incorporated.
- Pick up a small clump and squeeze – it should hold together, if not, add ice water in 1/2 teaspoon increments and work in (pulse) until it does.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into loose ball.
- Divide into 4 equal parts and smear each part with the heel of your hand to distribute fat.
- Gather the four parts and form into a ball, shape into a 1/2 thick disk – wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!