August 28th, 2013

Summer’s End Vegetable Pot Pie


How has your summer been?

It’s hard for me to accept that September is almost here, and the moments of leisure, like dips in the pool, are vanishing.

As August wanes, I’m reminded that soon we will be transitioning. Daylight hours will visibly shorten; leaves will begin to turn; sweaters will be pulled out from the back of the closet; and heartier foods will be prepared in the kitchen.


Already, the bounty of the garden is shifting, as heirloom tomatoes dwindle, and winter squashes–acorn, butternut–appear ready to harvest.

You might find, as I did, a handful of summer stragglers. An ear of corn or two, a big red bell pepper, a few squashes, a fistful of green beans.

Each, on its own, is not enough to make much of a meal.


But combined, have the ability to make something great.


Inspired by the summer stragglers, this vegetarian pot pie fits right into this time of transition. Pot pies–in their best form–embody comfort and offer one-dish ease. We often think of chicken or beef as being the central ingredient, but roasted vegetables can make a rich and satisfying filling on their own.


Roasting, of course, brings out all the caramel sweetness of the veggies. The other key is making a rich veloute for the filling. For a vegetarian version, I started with a saute of onions and garlic, and made a simple roux. Lightly browning the flour-butter mixture helps to bring a deeper layer of flavor to the sauce. Vegetable stock (store-bought is fine) heightened with a splash of white wine makes a fine base, especially enhanced with the onion-garlic roux. I finish the sauce with some fresh thyme leaves.


The other important element is the pot pie topping. Crust or biscuits–which do you prefer? I like both, but the biscuit topped pie ( made with chicken) that I saw in the September issue of Cooking Light really appealed this time.

In the time it takes for the veggies to roast, you can put together the biscuit dough. Here’s a couple of biscuit-making tips:


Start with very cold butter, cut into small cubes, to blend into the flour-soda mixture. If you don’t have a pastry blender, use two knives. You can also rub the butter into the flour by hand. It should resemble coarse meal.


After you add the buttermilk, work quickly. The dough will start out being sticky, but soon will come together into a ball.


You want a light touch, rolling out the dough, and cutting out the biscuit shapes. Overworked dough toughens–beware!


The buttermilk biscuit recipe is very easy to put together, roll out and shape.


The biscuits puff and brown beautifully, encasing the savory vegetable filling. As you scoop up a serving, you’ll notice how the veloute has baked into the bottoms of the biscuits. Mercy.


2 yellow squashes, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, large dice
1 jalapeno or cayenne pepper, small dice
1/2 pound green snap beans or pole beans, cut into 1/2 pieces
1-2 ears corn, cut off the cob
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chopped vegetables on a baking sheet and toss in olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and place in the oven to roast for about 12 minutes. Remove from oven.

In a 2 quart saucepan set on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to saute for 2 more minutes.

Stir in the flour, coating the onions and garlic. Continue stirring, cooking the flour to make a light roux. Pour in the vegetable broth and wine, stirring all the while. The mixture will begin to thicken. When it looks like it has nice sheen, remove from heat.

Coat a 2 quart casserole round with butter or pan spray. Add the roasted vegetables, and then pour the sauce over them. Stir to coat all the vegetables.

Make the biscuits (recipe follows).
Arrange the biscuits over the top of the casserole. Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika, if you like.
Place into the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes–until the biscuit tops are browned and the filling is bubbly.

Serves 4

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup buttermilk

Place a level cup of flour (4.5 ounces, by weight) into a medium bowl. Mix in the baking soda and salt.
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.
Stir in the buttermilk.
Form a doughball and gently knead 5-6 times. It is important to NOT overwork the dough.
Roll into a circle–about 9 inches round. Use a 2 inch biscuit cutter, ( or a flour-dusted glass of approximate size) and cut the biscuits.
Arrange them over the top of the pot pie.


Posted in Casseroles, Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

19 Responses to “Summer’s End Vegetable Pot Pie”
  1. FOODESSA Says:

    Other than the depressing first paragraph…your post put a smirk on my face. Your meal brought back memories of a failure that was and that never got another chance in my kitchen. Nancy, your post might just get me back on board again. As always, you keep sending great vibes through your posts ;o)

    Have a wonderful week and patience with those cookbook edits…I’m sure it will turn out fabulous!

    Ciao for now,

  2. ernestine Says:

    You gave me an idea
    as I have just been
    stir frying.
    I am ready for cooler weather :)

  3. Tammy Says:

    Oh this is beautiful. There is nothing that doesn’t benefit from roasting. In Atlanta this morning and can’t believe how late it becomes light here.

  4. Fluffy Says:

    Pot …….. And pie is good anytime not just the end of summmer

  5. Joyti Says:

    Our summer in San Francisco is just beginning! It’s a month and half long, sometime between August and September, ending in the middle of October, when the rainy season begins :)

    The pot pie looks and sounds delicious! And I hope you enjoy the waning days of your summer.

  6. Adri Says:

    Any time of year I can go for a Pot pie – these look wonderful!

  7. Eileen Says:

    Ooh, this pot pie sounds wonderful! Just perfect for those first few days when you actually want to turn on the oven. :) I might use a bean broth to give it some more protein punch–or just make some soupy, spicy black beans on the side.

  8. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Claudia–give it a try!

    Ernestine–I, too, am ready for some cooler weather. I like this recipe, as the bulk of the work happens in the oven.

    Tammy-it’s become almost trite—this roasting thing. but it really brings out the caramelized best of most ingredients.

    Joyti–it’s so interesting how varied the climate is across our country. I’ve always felt that San Francisco has a special one all its own.

    Thank you, Adri!

    Eileen—I really like your idea about using beans/bean broth to pump up the protein.

  9. Teresa Blackburn Says:

    I know September is upon us, but our weather here in Nashville will not reflect fall for quite some time which doesn’t make me like this recipe any less. Whatever the weather, anything with lovely light biscuits on top is just fine with me covering juicy vegetables in a broth. Just the best and thanks for this twist on the traditional. Lovely. T

  10. Maggie Says:

    Beautiful, Nance!

  11. Tracy Says:

    This a beautiful transition recipe. The mornings are getting darker around here…

  12. Daniela Says:

    Just discovered your blog.
    Great post, the recipe looks wonderful and I love the pictures!

  13. Karen (Back Road Journal) Says:

    What a nice way to use some of the bounty from your garden. Love the biscuit topping.

  14. Beth Says:

    That is one gorgeous pot pie! I can’t believe summer’s over either – it went faster than ever this year.

  15. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    love love love this idea! A pot pie without chicken! Just veggies! It is perfect way to use up all my leftover fresh and frozen vegetables. I have loads and loads of corn and okra! Spectacular!

  16. Juliana Says:

    Great idea…I love the idea of all vegetable pot pie.. yes, perfect with the flaky biscuits…yum!
    Thanks for the recipe Nancy and hope you are having a wonderful week :D

  17. Nic@diningwithastud Says:

    YUM! I used to make something similar in winter when we were meat eaters. It didn’t even occur to me to just leave the meat out :)

  18. giulia Says:

    Nice job, it’s a fantastic post. The data is good to find out!

  19. Madeleine Says:

    Dang! I’m in.

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