Hello friends! Today I am sharing my new, vegetarian, comfort food favourite: Absolutely scrumptious parsnip, leek and mushroom pie. With a lovely hint of whole grain mustard and a fabulous puffed up hat the parsnip, leek and mushroom pie is a surprisingly simple and elegant yet comforting, weeknight crowd pleaser.
I guess I might sound really naive to full time vegetarians when I say how surprised I was with the absolutely delicious flavour of these few veggies covered with puff pastry. But I honestly would have never thought that a vegetarian pie could be as oozing with comfort!
Parsnip, leek and mushroom pie has it
Am I a convert-vegetarian yet? The short answer is ‘No’. We’re taking things easy and eat some meat or fish on weekends. But, let me tell you, another few parsnip, leek and mushroom pies and I’ll be happy to forget about meaty ones all together! You simply must try it and taste what I mean for yourself.
I enjoy cooking, but with our vegetarian weekday theme it became even more exciting for me. Why is it that the less meat I eat, the less I crave it and the more I appreciate and enjoy vegetables? Am I a natural? Hmmm… Not sure about that one, but I do feel like I’m suddenly in some foreign land discovering somehow familiar flavours and ingredients, learning how to use them again. Veggies are not a speedy side only complementing a slab of meat anymore. Suddenly veggies simply are enough, full of calm and confident, tasteful presence. Let me tell you that with a little help from clever seasoning the proud veggie oomphf echoes louder and louder in my life!
Parsnip, leek and mushroom pie flavours
Parsnips are the holy grail of flavour in this pie. They are the grounding force, the base flavour that everything else oscillates around and comes down to. Earthy and no nonsense, but mild, sweet and cosy.
Leeks? What can I say… I love them more by the day and have just sown some at the bottom of our garden because, especially the baby ones, are ridiculously expensive in Guernsey! (Try my Leek and Pesto Fettuccine – so good! Also, the other day I saw an episode of the Hairy Bikers when the two bikers make a lasagna replacing pasta sheets with leek sheets – genius! Fast forward to 48th minute for the full, skinny lasagne recipe! I must come up with a vegetarian version btw!!)
Mushrooms have almost a designated space in our fridge. We both really love them – check out my mushroom recipes on the blog. In the pie they don’t disappear into the volume, but complement the flavour very clearly. Whole grain mustard in the sauce is a true revelation! So much robust, acidic earthiness, which dissolves and lifts the full of depth sweet and earthy parsnips. Absolute magic if a sauce needs that ‘something’.
So is it a Parsnip, leek and mushroom pie for dinner? Well, it’s a pie! Nothing can go wrong really. Stew the veggies, add the sauce, season, pastry over, bake, job done!
Now on the pastry note: Although, I enjoy cooking, making puff pastry is not something I ever look forward to. Don’t get me wrong, do it, for the sense of achievement if you like, but tonight I chose lazy comfort of the shop bought one and I feel zero guilt about it! Parsnip, leek and mushroom pie likes the ready puff as much as the lovingly folded homemade one. Promise.
- 800g parsnips, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 50g butter
- 2 leeks (white parts), trimmed and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g mushrooms, sliced
- 300g savoy cabbage (leaves only, sliced into thin ribbons), or 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 300ml fresh vegetable stock
- 100g creme fraiche
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- 320g all butter puff pastry sheet (defrosted if frozen)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large, deep (ideally nonstick) saucepan sweat parsnips, cabbage (or zucchini), leeks, garlic and thyme in butter for 10 minutes stirring from time to time.
- While veggies are sweating, in a small bowl, using a fork or whisk, combine ⅓ of the cold stock, set aside.
- Mix mushrooms into the pan with parsnips, cook them for about 5 minutes and then pour in the remaining stock. Simmer it all for further 10 minutes, or until parsnips are almost soft.
- Stir the slurry of stock with flour into the mixture, followed by creme fraiche, mustard and cheddar. Season to taste and tip into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Leave to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before covering the filling with the pastry sheet, tuck in the edges. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes, until risen and piping hot.