About 3 years ago I became a vegetarian and when I made that choice, my palette surprisingly expanded. You’d think I’d have fewer food choices but actually, I became more curious about foods I had never eaten before. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. The exotic produce aisles I previously ignored at the grocery store now held intrigue and mystery. I’ve truly enjoyed exploring new foods and today I was super excited to make this Vegetable Pot Pie that has a couple veggies I’d never eaten before. (Recipe at end.)
Bonus points if you know the type of onion shown with the vegetable in photo #3.
But I was not disappointed … it’s quite tasty!!
Okay … here’s the answers to the vegetable identification …
Did you get them right? The onions in the photo at right are shallots. And let me just say, those little buggers really make your eyes water when chopping them – more so than most onions. Beauty Tip: Put your mascara on AFTER dicing the shallots.
Now onto making Vegetable Pot Pie …
Finally, lay your pastry puff dough over the top of casserole, folding edges under and pinching just a bit. Use any leftover pastry to create leaves or other type of decorative feature. Brush top with beaten egg and bake in the oven.
Vegetable Pot Pie
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed)
1 1/2 pound butternut squash – peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 shallots, peeled and halved
1 small celery root
1 lemon (use juice only)
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
5 medium carrots cut into chunks
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 cups Herb Bechamel sauce (directions below)
Roll out pastry to fit the top of your 2.5 quart casserole dish. I added 1 inch around the casserole to make a thicker crust on the sides of the dish. Cut out leaves for decoration, if desired. Place crust in refrigerator until needed.
Heat oil and butter in large saucepan. Dredge squash in flour and place in pan with shallots. Saute over medium heat about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so edges brown evenly. Place squash mixture in casserole dish.
Peel and dice celery root, and then place in bowl with juice of one lemon. Add water to cover and set aside. Parboil remaining vegetables in salted water until slightly tender, then drain. Drain the celery root and parboil for 1 minute. Combine all the parboiled vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add them to the casserole dish and tuck in the sprigs of thyme.
Mix the herbed bechamel with the milk and pour it over the vegetables in the casserole dish. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the pastry over the casserole, folding under edges that extend beyond the sides of the dish. Brush the top with beaten egg. Add pastry leaves (if using) and brush those with beaten egg, as well.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes, and then lower heat to 350 degrees. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes more or until crust is golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Herb Bechamel Sauce
2 cups milk
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ground nutmeg to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Heat milk with onion, bay leaf, and thyme over medium heat. Remove from heat just before it boils. Set aside for 15 minutes to steep.
In a separate sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and then add flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Immediately pour milk through strainer into the roux and whisk until thickened and sauce comes to slight boil. Turn heat down to very low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Add the thyme and stir.
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