Vegetarian Pot Pies

This is the perfect main course for a vegetarian Thanksgiving.  I had been toying with the idea of a vegetarian pot pie for a while. I actually had found quite a few recipes.  But then, as usual, Bon Appétit came through with flying colors.  Their November issue provided quite a few vegetarian options, but this pot pie recipe stood out firmly in my mind.  And, by the way, the original name for this recipe was Mushroom and Lentil Pot Pies with Gouda Biscuit Topping, in case you are trying to find it.  I just shortened it a bit.

I’ve never really cooked with lentils before.  I had seen them in the grocery store, dried and inexpensive.  I know that they are good for me-iron, vitamins, and minerals galore, right?  But for some reason, they just sounded unappealing.  I felt somewhat safe putting them in the pot pies since they would be mixed with a background of lots of other vegetables.  But, let’s be honest here.  The main reason why I wanted to make this recipe was because of the gouda biscuit topping.  Anything with melted cheese is an instant win for me, so I was looking forward to seeing if these pot pies lived up to their potential.

Well, they did.  They were not hard to put together at all.  Chopping the vegetables and grating the gouda (I was pretty generous with the gouda…I may have added a little more than what the recipe calls for….) was the most time-consuming part of the recipe, for the most part.  I also loved the cornmeal biscuit topping as an alternative to the usual pastry/flaky crust of regular pot pies.  And, the lentils were earthy and savory.  So I have been turned on to lentils.  Who would have thought?

Vegetarian Pot Pies

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the filling:

1/2 cup lentils

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried sage

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

For the topping:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons chilled unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup coarsely grated Gouda cheese (about 3 ounces)

Instructions

1. For the filling: Combine 3 cups cold water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to boil.

2.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

3.  In the meantime, pour 3 cups boiling water over the porcini in a medium bowl; soak 25 minutes.

4.  Remove the porcini from the soaking liquid, squeeze dry, and chop coarsely.  Make sure you save the soaking liquid.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

6. Add fresh mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes.

7. Add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, carrot, sage, and thyme.  Sauté for 4 minutes.

8.  Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

9. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

10. Mix the flour into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute.

11. Add the porcini soaking liquid.

12. Mix in porcini, potatoes, soy sauce, and tomato paste.

13. Cover; simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes.

14.  Add the lentils; season with salt and pepper.

15.  Divide the filling among 4 2-cup ovenproof bowls.

16. For the topping: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

17. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and blend for 5 seconds.

18. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

19. Add buttermilk; pulse until dough forms moist clumps.

20. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

21. Divide into 4 equal pieces; shape each into a 2/3-inch-thick disk.

22. Set rounds atop filling; top with cheese.

23. Bake pot pies on a baking sheet until tester inserted into biscuit topping comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Source: Bon Appétit, November 2010.

November 15, 2010 - 7:56 am

Lauren at KeepItSweet - these look amazing! i had never thought of anything except for the standard chicken pot pie but these do look delicious

November 15, 2010 - 11:08 am

Rachel - This might just be my Thanksgiving main dish right here! I’m a vegetarian and this will be my first Thanksgiving away from family members so I need to come up with the menu.
I love the idea of a cornmeal/Gouda topping and lentils are definitely a favorite. Thanks for the great recipe!

November 16, 2010 - 4:51 pm

cupcake - Delish! Beautiful blog!
cupcake
http://www.thefamily-table.blogspot.com

November 17, 2010 - 5:06 am

The Curvy Carrot » Sweet Potato Orange Cups - [...] 40 minutes before serving time.  This recipe can be popped into the oven while your turkey (or vegetarian pot pie….) rests before the big meal. They are bound to get you some “oohs” and [...]

November 18, 2010 - 6:23 pm

Ashley - Your recipes all look so delicious! Lovely blog :)

November 21, 2010 - 8:57 pm

Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather - Comfort food at its best. So tasty looking :)

November 23, 2010 - 11:17 am

Patty - What a lovely winter meal! Always good to have vegetarian options on the Thanksgiving table. :)

November 25, 2010 - 5:02 am

The Curvy Carrot » Pecan Bars - [...] case you are still thinking about what to make, here’s my Thanksgiving 2010 recipe round-up: Vegetarian Pot-Pies Sweet Potato Orange Cups Cranberry Turtle Bars Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Sugar and [...]

November 27, 2010 - 6:11 pm

Dana - I had this same recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. The way I saw it, too much work for too little payoff. Also, my host took out the potatoes and subbed in parsnip and turnips. YUCK. I would not advise…yielded a weird flavor mashup. The crust was super tasty though!

November 27, 2010 - 6:22 pm

srlacy - Oooh, Dana. Bummer. I agree. Adding parsnips and turnips would probably make it way too starchy and thick.

But…the crust was my favorite part, too! I’ll take cheese over vegetables any day!

December 12, 2011 - 4:32 am

Vegetable Pot Pies : a couple cooks - [...] Vegetable Pot Pies Serves 4 Inspired by Food and Wine via Curvy Carrot [...]

January 19, 2012 - 12:09 pm

Sarah - This looks delicious! I would love if you shared this in our comfort food Blog Hop. We’re giving away a prize from Wilton to the blogger with the most “likes”, come check it out! :) http://www.recipelionblog.com/january-blog-hop-favorite-comfort-foods-giveaway/

Sarah @ RecipeLion

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