Spring can be sunshine and sundresses and walks through Ann Arbor’s peony garden. Spring can also be rainy and dreary and what-the-heck-I-thought-it-was-May. On days like the latter, you may want to cook up a pot pie to warm up your insides and pass the time while you wait for the sun to reappear. This pot pie acknowledges the season with fresh asparagus and leeks while providing rainy day comfort with sweet potatoes and a couple of yukons. Grated ginger and a generous amount of creamy ricotta sets this pot pie apart from what is otherwise stereotyped as a rather humdrum entree. We start, as always, with some beautiful veggies.
spring vegetable pot pie
Adapted from What’s for Lunch, Honey?
1 package puff pastry
2 leeks, thinly sliced
6-8 asparagus, cut on the diagonal
3-4 carrots, sliced
1 sweet potato, diced
2 small yukon gold potatoes
about 1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
3 garlic coves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
a little dried oregano and thyme
2-4 tablespoons vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cream or milk
Preheat oven to 300 F. If you’re using frozen puff pastry, make sure you’re letting it thaw in the refrigerator well before you start cooking.
So we’ve got some vegetable prep before us. Start by blanching the asparagus. Wash, trim and chop the spears while boiling a pot of water. Toss in the asparagus for one minute then drain and set on a bowl of ice to stop the cooking. This will help the veggie retain a bright spring green complexion.
Chop chop chop! Your potatoes first, as you’ll have to cook them too. I steamed them in the microwave, though there’s probably a better way to do this. Place the potatoes in a bowl with a little water and microwave for 5-7 minutes, or until soft but still a little crunchy.
Chop your leeks, your onions, and your carrots, too. Might as well mince the garlic and ginger, as well. Whew!
Add a little olive oil to a big pan and start by sauteing the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is translucent. Add the carrots and saute a little more.
Throw in the potatoes, asparagus, leeks and peppercorns. Add a little salt and pepper and whatever other herbs (oregano and thyme, perhaps?) suit your fancy. Remove from heat and stir in the ricotta. If you like your pot pie filling a little juicier (I do) add some of the vegetable stock at this point.
This next part is a little bit determined by the hardware on hand. If you have good-sized ramekins for making individual pot pies, I am 1) jealous and 2) certain you could make about four adorable servings. If you’ve got a 9×9 dish, that will work. If you have a deep circular dish like I found in our chaotic pots and pans cupboard, that’ll work too.
After lightly oiling my dish, I divided the puff pastry in half and lined the bottom of the dish with dough. Next, I added the filling. Finally, I carefully (but imperfectly) covered the top with the other half of pastry.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Give the top of the pastry a nice egg wash to make it golden as it cooks. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it looks totally scrumptious.
Anthony helped me make this for Annie and Andrew. We served it with a green salad (greens, cucumber, scallions, red pepper, feta, walnuts) and some zany-looking fiddlehead ferns (recipe coming soon!). Between the four of us, the pot pie disappeared pretty quickly, and we still had room for Anthony’s layered mango cake.
Happy spring and happy spring eating!