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This time of year root vegetables are at the forefront of many menus and our Winter CSA Share boxes!  I’m a big fan of any recipe that calls for roughly chopped vegetables that require minimal attention while cooking, so this recipe is just right for my winter time cooking habits.  I’ve made this twice now-once with leftover turkey, but here the vegetables shine.

Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

After the vegetables are roasted they’re mixed with wilted cabbage which cooks down to melty perfection under a flaky butter crust.  I never thought I would “love” cabbage, but I really love the Wakefield cabbage.  They are mild and delicious raw in slaws and salads and equally as tasty cooked.  Half of the large cone-shaped cabbage is fine here-and also any cabbage will do, napa or green whatever is in your share box!  The roots, too are interchangeable.  I went with 3 large carrots, 3 large parsnips, 2 watermelon radishes, and 2 pink turnips.  Use whatever you have on hand and try to match the volume shown here.  Daikon radish, beets, and celeriac would all work.  Once the roots are uniformly chopped they are spread on a baking pan, with the chopped onions, smashed garlic cloves, and sprigs of thyme.  I’ve been tossing whole sprigs of thyme in everything lately and I’m finding that as they cook the leaves fall off and are easily incorporated into most dishes.  If you prefer, you could also de-stem and mince the thyme first.  A quick drizzle of olive oil, dash of salt and pepper and these are in the oven!

Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

While the vegetables roast prepare the crust.  An all butter crust is pretty easy to pull off, but if it’s not your thing or you don’t have time, don’t sweat it.  Use a sheet of pre-made puff pastry, a few layers of phyllo, or even a store bought pie crust.  If you are making the crust, a food processor is a great tool for throwing this together quickly.  The chilled butter, ice water, and flour are just pulsed together until sandy.  Dump them out, wrap in plastic wrap (if you have an eco friendly alternative, please let me know!) and set aside in the fridge for up to 20 minutes.

Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie

The cabbage is sautéed, then combined with the root vegetables. Make the sauce in the pan with the veggies. This is my new favorite technique for thickening sauces.  When all the vegetables are in the pan, add the butter, melt, and sprinkle the flour over the top.  Mix until pasty.  Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time and simmer to thicken.  I’m not sure why, but I find this so much easier than making a roux! I used a large cast iron skillet for this so that I could top it with the pastry and put it directly in the oven.  If you don’t have a skillet, transfer to a deep oven proof casserole, or divide between 2 pie plates.  Put a few holes in the crust before you move it.  I noticed my pie bubbling over so I actually added a few more during cooking.  You don’t want the crust swimming underneath so keep a careful watch.  Basting the top with an egg yolk and milk gives it the rich brown color.

Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie adapted from Tasting Table

6 – 8 cups mixed root vegetables, cut into large chunks
12 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
2 small or 1 large onion roughly chopped
4T olive oil divided
small handful thyme sprigs
1/2 any variety cabbage , sliced into 1/2 inch strips
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
salt + pepper
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup chilled butter
1/2 tsp salt
6-8 tablespoons ice water

Equipment – 14″ cast iron skillet, deep oven proof casserole, or 2 9″ pie plates

Roast the vegetables.  Preheat oven to 425 F.  Spread vegetables, onions, and garlic on a baking sheet (use two if necessary) and top with thyme sprigs.  Sprinkle with  3T olive, salt, and pepper.  Roast at 425F for 45-60 minutes tossing occasionally.

Make the crust.  In a food processor blend the salt and flour together.  Add butter in small pieces until mixture looks sandy.  Slowly add ice water pulsing until just mixed.  Stop when mixture looks like wet sand but holds together when pinched.  Dump into plastic wrap and chill for about 20 minutes.  Roll out between parchment paper.

Optional: When vegetables are cooked, remove garlic and mash into a paste.  Mix paste into broth for sauce.  Or leave cloves whole and proceed.

In the cast iron skillet, sauté the cabbage.  Heat 1T olive oil over medium heat.  Add cabbage and cook until completely wilted, 5-10 minutes.

Add roasted root vegetables to pan.  Mix until evenly incorporated with cabbage.  Add butter.  When butter is melted, sprinkle in flour and stir until you see a paste starting to form.  Add vegetable stock 1/2 cup at a time carefully mixing.  You will use 3-4 cups depending on the volume of your vegetables.  This should not be soupy.  Use your judgement on how much to add, the broth should just come up to to meet the top of the vegetables.  Simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes until sauce is thickened.

Top with pastry crust.  Gently lay pastry over the top.  Whisk together egg yolk and milk.  Gently brush mixture over top of pastry crust.

Bake at 425F 20-30 minutes until crust is golden brown.  Check every 10 minutes, if pie starts bubbling over add a few extra vent holes.

Notes.  Feel free to amp this up with protein-try 2 cups chicken, turkey, or for vegetarians baked tofu or chickpeas.  This is a double crust recipe, and I used a 14″ cast iron skillet. This can be divided into 2 pie plates – and 1 can be frozen if you like (freeze before baking, thaw and bake as directed).

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