feasting at home: Spring Vegetable Pot Pie

March 27, 2013

Spring Vegetable Pot Pie






This lighter, healthier version of Pot Pie bridges the seasons by utilizing the new vegetables of Spring, in a warm and comforting way. This vegan recipe is easily adaptable and can be "beefed up" for meat-eaters and like this Shepherds Pie Recipe, can be fully customized. Served in individual ramekins, you can add chicken or beef to some while keeping some completely vegan. In our catering business, we make a mini appetizer version of these, which are always fun at a gathering.

*On a little side note- I recently opened a very small kitchen store with my good friend Jill filled with a few things I love to use at home in my own kitchen. It's called Bowl and Pitcher….take a gander when you get a chance!! 






Start by gathering your favorite Spring vegetables. I like to use fresh peas, asparagus, and fennel.




Fennel adds a nice sweetness.


If you are able to find fresh peas, definitely use them... they are the best.




Basically you will need: 4 cups of any combination of carrots, celery, fennel, mushrooms, or pearl onions. Additionally, 1 cup of diced onions (or leeks), 1 cup of peas (or asparagus), 1 pound of diced blanched potatoes, and either 1 pound of seared tofu, cooked chicken, or cooked beef roast.

If searing tofu, here is an easy way to do it, which will give you flavorful crispy tofu every time (just leave out the sugar).











There are two very important ingredients that make this Spring Vegetable Pot Pie recipe extra special. 
Fresh tarragon and whole grain mustard. Do not leave these out.





The basic idea is to make a flavorful stew, top it with a pastry crust, and bake. The secret is to pay attention to each individual vegetable and cook them to their proper done-ness. For example, fresh peas and asparagus will not take as long to cook as carrots or fennel, so I fold them in the stew at the very end- and they do most of their cooking in the oven. 

Using a vegan puff pastry makes this recipe quick and easy.




Use ramekins as a pattern for the pastry, adding an extra 1/4- 1/2 inch, to allow for crimping.




Fill the ramekins and dampen the edge of the ramekin with a little water, on your finger tip ( or use egg wash). Crimp the edges with a fork. Make a slit so pie can vent, and either brush with an egg wash, or a little olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet in a 400F oven. Check at 15-20 minutes as some ovens run hot,  paying attention so they don't get too dark. Smaller ramekins will cook faster.  You can also make this is a 9x13 inch baking dish.  If you fill them overly full like I did below,  they will bubble over in the oven. I love this look, but if you like things neat and tidy, just fill to slightly below the rim.




We also make these in little mini ramekins as an appetizer.





Sometimes, for a different look, I don't always crimp the edges....like below. 
And one more fun presentation option- make these in mini cast iron skillets for a more rustic feel.








Spring Vegetable Pot Pie

print recipe

Spring Vegetable Pot Pie
An easy vegan pot pie, that can be customized.

Ingredients:

3 T oil
1/4 Cup flour
3 cups flavorful veggie stock
1 Cup diced onion ( or pearl onions)
4 Cups any combination of : diced carrot, celery, fennel, mushrooms, pearl onion
1 lb diced blanched yukon gold potatoes
1 cup fresh peas (raw) or 1 cup asparagus
1 lb tofu, seared with salt and pepper (or 1 lb cooked chicken or beef)
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1/3 c dry white wine
fresh thyme 1 T
fresh tarragon 2 T
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T nutritional yeast (optional)
white pepper to taste
1 package vegan puff pastry dough

Instructions:
400F oven
Blanch potatoes. Saute leeks or onions in 3 oil, for 5 minutes on med high heat until translucent. Add carrots, celery, fennel and/or mushrooms salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium low and saute until carrots are al dente, about 12 minutes. Splash with wine, and cook on med heat until it evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Stir in flour and nutritional yeast and and cook one minute while stirring. Add stock and mustard and stir until it just comes to a boil and thickens. Turn heat off. Fold in cooked potatoes, fresh peas or asparagus, and seared tofu (or cooked chicken). Add fresh tarragon, thyme and white pepper. Fill greased oven proof ramekins or baking dish.

Roll out Puff pastry dough to fit what you will be using. If using individual ramekins, place them on the dough and use as a pattern, and cut around them leaving an extra at least 1/4 in - 1/2 in for crimping.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until puffed and golden.

Details
Total time: Yield: 4-6