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November 10, 2009

Chickpea Pot Pie

My taste runs toward hot peppers and sour pickles, so mild beige Thanksgiving foods have never held much excitement. As a vegetarian, I’ve always made a meal of sides—rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes. This year, I set out to create a gluten-free vegan main dish I can share with everyone at the table: a savory pie stuffed with root vegetables, gravy, and chickpeas.

In keeping with the rest of Thanksgiving dinner, the seasoning is intentionally mellow; give your veggies a kick of black pepper and then let them speak for themselves. Use any vegetables you please: parsnips, leeks, brussel sprouts, and mushrooms would be delicious. Chickpeas give this dish some heft, but you may omit them or use white beans, tofu, or seitan instead.

Chickpea Pot Pie
6-8 white boiling onions
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned or cooked chickpeas, rinsed
1 medium yukon gold potato (about the size of a lemon), in 1-inch cubes
1 medium carrot, in 1/2-inch slices
1 medium white turnip, in 1-inch cubes
1 stalk celery, in 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup sliced green cabbage

Dough for a double pie crust (I’ve had success with this gluten-free recipe)

To prepare the onions, boil them for 2 minutes and then immerse them in cold water. Cut off the ends of the onions, slip off their skins, and halve them.

In a wide saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. In a cup or small bowl, combine flour, mustard, and pepper, and whisk into oil. Stir for 1 minute as mixture bubbles and thickens. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Add chickpeas, potato, carrot, turnip, celery, and peas. Simmer gently, reducing heat if necessary, for 10-15 minutes, until the potato, carrot, and turnip are nearly cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in cabbage.

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out top and bottom crusts. Place bottom crust in pie plate and heap on the vegetable filling. Place the top crust, seal the seam, and poke several holes to allow steam to escape. Bake 35-45 minutes, until top crust is browned.

Serves 6. Freezes nicely; make ahead of time for convenience.

Mary Lake is a writer, teacher, columnist for MF&L, and vegetarian blogger: Mitten Machen.

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