Spring has been super rainy for us (it’s been raining for almost a full week now!), with only a sprinkling of a few nice days, so cozy food cravings are still in full swing around here. I seriously can’t wait until freezing cold smoothies, raw salads, and huge watermelon mono-meals regain their appeal, but I definitely don’t mind living on this pot pie til then :) It’s got almost all the comforting features of a traditional pot pie, but is made with bright spring produce and a blanket of thinly sliced vegetables instead of the more traditional pastry-based crust.
Leeks, asparagus, peas, and spinach all made it into this pot pie in celebration of spring. There’s also quinoa for more substance and a stew-like texture, as well as carrots and zucchini. The crust is made up of thinly sliced potatoes (use new potatoes for the ultimate seasonal points) and zucchini. You could totally sub in your favorite pot pie pastry crust here if you’re looking for something even more substantial, store-bought biscuits would work too.
Don’t be afraid to improvise and include other spring goodies that you might find around this time of year. Green garlic, spring onions, and ramps could replace some of the leeks. Quickly blanched fava beans could stand in for part of the peas. Chives can be used for garnish instead of scallions, and chive blossoms will always offer the most beautiful finish. Hope you enjoy this one :)
- avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 leeks - white and pale parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots - sliced into half-moons
- salt - to taste
- 3 medium zucchini - divided
- 5 garlic cloves - minced
- about ½ teaspoon each of dried herbs - such as thyme, rosemary, marjoram (you can use fresh herbs as well, about 1 tablespoon minced total)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- scant ¼ cup ground rolled oats or oat flour (gluten-free if needed)
- 2½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 small bunch asparagus - tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups baby spinach or other tender spring greens
- 8-10 oz fresh or frozen green peas
- 2 medium new potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes - thinly sliced into rounds on a mandoline
- fresh herbs - for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).
- Warm a generous drizzle of oil in a soup pot or very deep pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots, and a pinch of salt, and sauté for about 7 minutes, until the leeks are soft. Meanwhile, dice 2 of the zucchini into medium cubes and mandoline the remaining 1 zucchini into thin rounds, setting it aside together with the mandolined potatoes.
- Add the garlic, herbs, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate for about 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant. Add the diced zucchini, quinoa, more salt, and pepper, and stir to incorporate. Pour in the wine and turn up the heat to a medium high. Let the wine cook off and absorb for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the ground oats/oat flour and the vegetable stock to the pot. Bring everything up to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring periodically, until the mixture is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit off the heat for a few minutes, then stir in the asparagus, spinach, and peas, mixing to lightly wilt the spinach. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if needed.
- Spoon the stew into an oiled 9" x 9" baking dish (or a dish of a similar size), evening it out with a spoon. Arrange the mandolined potato and zucchini on top of the stew, overlapping them and alternating them in a pattern. Brush the vegetables with more oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the potato slices are fully cooked. Turn on your broiler on low and place the pot pie under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until your crust is crispy, golden and blistered in places. Be careful not to burn the crust. Let the pot pie cool slightly and serve, garnished with fresh herbs.