Vegan Cauliflower and Leek Pie with Onion Crust
Serves: one 9"-10" pie
for the crust
  • neutral oil for oiling the pie dish
  • 1¼ cup ground pecans (grinding directions in the recipe)
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 medium onion - roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
for the 'cheese' sauce
  • 1 large or 2 small white potatoes - boiled until tender
  • 1 medium carrot - boiled until tender
  • 2-3 sun dried tomato halves (soaked in hot water if not oil-packed/if very dry) or 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of sea salt
for the cauliflower and leeks
  • avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only - thinly sliced
  • sea salt
  • red pepper flakes - to taste
  • 1 large head of cauliflower - cut into florets
to make the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Prepare a 9"-10" pie dish by oiling it well.
  2. Place a generous 1 cup of pecans in a food processor and grind into a flour, taking care not to over-grind. Measure out 1¼ cups of the ground pecans and transfer that amount to a large mixing bowl. Save the rest of the ground pecans for a future recipe, or see note. Add the tapioca starch and salt to the bowl, mix to combine.
  3. Add the onion to the food processor and puree it. It's okay to have some small onion chunks, but the puree should be pretty uniform. Transfer the onions to a medium bowl, add the ground flax and mix to combine. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, letting the flax bloom. Add the mixture to the bowl with the pecan flour and mix well to combine.
  4. Transfer the crust dough into the prepared pie dish and form an even pie crust, using a spoon and your hands. Place the crust in a freezer for 15 minutes to set.
  5. Cover the crust with parchment paper and baking beans, and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the base of the crust is dry to the touch.
to make the 'cheese' sauce
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Take care not to over-blend, so that the starch in the potatoes doesn't give the sauce a gluey texture. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
to prepare the vegetables and bake the pie
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C).
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes and cook the leeks for 8-10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan and cook the leeks for another 10 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the heat back up to medium and cook for another 5 minutes, until the leeks are very soft and somewhat caramelized. Transfer the leeks to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Wipe the pan clean and heat another tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower florets along with a pinch of salt and mix to coat. Distribute the cauliflower in a single layer and let sear, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes, or until the undersides are nicely browned. Mix and keep cooking the cauliflower until soft throughout, for about 15 minutes. If your cauliflower is not softening, cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to medium-low, letting it steam until soft. Add the caramelized leeks and half of the 'cheese' sauce to the pan and mix to combine.
  4. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to the pre-baked crust, carefully evening it out with a spoon. Add the rest of the sauce on top, evening it out. Cover the pie with parchment paper, foil, or a lid and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Let cool well before slicing.
If you have any leftover ground pecans, you can make a quick cheesy sprinkle by mixing them with nutritional yeast, sea salt, and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle over this pie, pasta dishes, avocado toast, etc.
Recipe by Golubka Kitchen at