RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, MICHELLE ITZKOWITZ
These mini vegetable pot pies are a perfect entrée option for any time of year, especially the chilly ones. They are packed with vegetables, beans, and a creamy cashew sauce. Serve them with roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéed greens, or a kale salad. Adapted from a recipe by Cadry Nelson
Mini Vegetable Pot Pies
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 6 Tablespoons non-dairy butter (Earth Balance is great)
- 2 Tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons raw cashews*
- 2 cups water divided
- 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion in medium pieces
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots cut into coins
- 1 medium russet potato about 6 ounces, chopped in small to medium pieces 1/2 cup green peas Fresh or frozen are fine
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained (reserve liquid for later use in this recipe)
To make crust
- In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine all purpose flour with salt and dried rosemary. Add non-dairy butter. Using your fingers, fully combine the flour with the non-dairy butter until it has the texture of small pebbles.
- In a small separate bowl, combine ice water and white wine vinegar. Add the water/vinegar mixture to the mixing bowl with flour. Use your hands to combine the wet and dry mixtures until one ball of dough has formed. It should be smooth and not sticky.
- For easiest rolling, wrap the dough in plastic and cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Once you are ready to make the pot pies, roll out the dough with a rolling pin. It should be thin enough that you can get 5 mini tops for each pot pie. You can use either a biscuit cutter to cut out the tops or use a knife and a cocotte lid or extra ramekin as a guide to trace. If you use the cocotte lids/ramekins as a guide, you may need to roll each one out a little bit further to fully cover the pot pie. Put the dough circles into the refrigerator to keep cool while you make the pot pie filling.
To make filling
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Put the raw cashews into a blender with ½ cup of water. Blend until it is completely smooth, a thick cashew cream. Set aside.
- Bring a soup pot to a medium heat with extra virgin olive oil. Sauté onion in oil for about 5 minutes, until it has softened slightly and is fragrant. Add garlic, celery, dried rosemary, dried basil, and sauté for a minute more. Add remaining 1 ½ cups water, vegetable bouillon cube, carrots, potato, green peas, salt, and drained chickpeas. Bring to a simmer. Then lower heat, cover, and cook for 7 minutes, until the potato has softened slightly.
- Add cashew cream from blender and cook for 5 minutes more over a low medium heat, so that the cashew cream can reduce slightly and flavors can combine. Stir occasionally. Use a ladle to put even amounts of the pot pie filling into each 8 ounce cocotte or ramekin. Using a fingers or pastry brush, spread a thin layer of the saved bean liquid onto the top edge of the cocottes.
- Put an individual crust onto each cocotte and pinch around the edges to seal. Use a sharp knife to put a few vent holes into the top of each pot pie. Use fingers or pastry brush again to lightly spread bean liquid across the top of each crust for better browning.
- Put the cocottes/ramekins on a baking sheet, so that if the pot pie filling bubbles over, it will fall onto the baking sheet and not the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes. When they are ready, the tops will be a nutty brown color. Remove from oven and allow the pot pies to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.