I’ve always liked Valentine’s Day, even before that fabulous February 14th eight years ago when I met my husband on a match.com first date. Even when I was unattached or attached to the wrong guy. Valentine’s Day was always a festive, red and pink day—whether it was cookies and cupcakes shared at the office, foil wrapped chocolates, or a fuchsia or scarlet clothing choice. And it’s a day not just to share with your romantic partner, but with your family, your friends—it’s about celebrating all those loving relationships! And what better way to celebrate than with good old comfort food.
A Valentine’s menu started percolating in my brain earlier this week and I knew immediately what the dessert would be, this Chocolate Lava Cakes with Raspberry Sauce & Chambord Cream recipe (one of those “I can’t believe it’s vegan” desserts!) blogged about last year. And for some reason, the idea of pot pies came to mind. We’re in the midst of one of the coldest winters in 20 years, and comfort food is helping us survive. At first I was thinking of individual pot pies in cute little ramekins, but I have a seldom-used heart shaped tart pan with removable bottom, so why not one large pie? It all came together in a test version last night and was definitely a recipe to share!
This version, with its meaty crimini mushrooms and red wine-spiked gravy, is reminiscent of a beefy pot pie, but you could change up the veggies and substitute white wine if you’d prefer a lighter flavor and color, more attuned to the traditional version.
For reasons of both ease and flavor, I used puff pastry for the crust, but if you have a favorite homemade crust recipe, go for it. Trader Joe’s has the best puff pastry I’ve tasted, with no partially hydrogenated anything, however, it does contain butter. Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry is vegan, but contains small amounts of hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup. I’m sure there are other brands out there and you can check the ingredients to make sure you’re buying one that works with your preferences.
Valentine's Vegetable Pot Pie
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large shallot, diced
1 leek, sliced
1 carrot, diced
¼ bulb fennel, chopped
2 cup diced potatoes
2 cups diced crimini mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup vegetable stock (homemade would be ideal) or good quality broth
½ cup red wine
¾ cup shelled edamame
2 tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground sage
salt and pepper, to taste
1 package store-bought puff pastry, defrosted (if you want vegan, make sure to check ingredients)
1 egg (for a vegan version, substitute non-dairy milk of choice and omit the water)
1 teaspoon water
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. When oil is hot, add garlic, shallots, leeks, carrot, and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables. Stir to coat and cook for a couple minutes. Add broth and wine, stirring until combined. Increase heat until mixture comes to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until it thickens somewhat. Turn heat off and stir in herbs, dry mustard, and edamame. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Roll one sheet of puff pastry to about 1/8” thickness. Place the pan on the dough, using pan to guide the shape, cut dough in a heart shape about 1 ½” larger than pan. Gently ease puff pastry into pan, pressing it to edges and against sides. If using a round pie or tart pan, cut dough in a circle 1 ½” wider all around and ease into pan, pressing dough to edges and against sides.
Transfer vegetable mixture into pastry lined pan.
Roll second sheet of puff pastry to 1/8” thickness (you probably won’t use it all). Cut into 1” wide strips. Place strips over the top of vegetable mixture, forming a lattice pattern, trimming strips to fit. Press dough on edge of pan with a fork or crimp with fingers to mesh strips to edges in a decorative pattern.
In small dish, make egg wash by mixing egg and water until well combined. With a pastry brush, coat all pastry surfaces with egg wash. Bake 30-40 minutes, until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling. Transfer to cooling rack for 10 minutes.
If using pan with removable bottom, remove from pan and let cool on rack 10 minutes longer. Slice into wedges and serve hot. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!