Harvest season brings out the best in the Maritimes; the weather is beautifully warm and sunny; flora in every woodlot, trail and ditch sport the reds, yellows and violets of autumn; the sweetness of late-ripening crops is intensified by the cool nights and light frosts; festivals and events, scarecrows and pumpkin people are born out of the creativity and enthusiasm in small towns and villages throughout the province. All these things warm and fortify us against the rigors of the coming winter.
One fall I was asked by the Hubbard’s Barn Farmer’s Market to participate in their Harvest Festival by creating dishes which highlight some of the vendor’s exceptional products which market-goers could sample and discuss for culinary inspiration. Of the two dishes I made, the Harvest Vegetable Pie with Goat Cheese Crust begged the most recipe requests.
Harvest Vegetable Pie has great vegetable taste because it hasn’t a sauce; its intense flavours come from the very finely sliced vegetables layered with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, finely diced red onion and fresh herbs encased in a no-fail goat or cream cheese crust. This pie is easy to make, the only specialized equipment you need is either a food-processor with a fine-slice blade, a box grater with a slice side, or a mandolin and a steady hand. This pie makes a great lunch or light dinner paired with soup and salad. Bon Appetit!
Harvest Vegetable Pie
· 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
· 1/3 cup pastry flour
· 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
· 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
· 1 250 g. pkg. cream cheese or goat cheese
· ¼ tsp salt
The following 4 items are finely sliced vertically:
· 1 medium peeled sweet potatoe and 1 Yukon Gold potatoe
· 1 medium unpeeled zucchini
· 1 medium peeled parsnip or small turnip (optional)
· 2 roasted sweet peppers peeled, seeded and cut in 2” slices
· 1 medium red onion and 1 clove garlic finely diced
· ½ cup finely chopped green herbs, parsley, basil etc.
· 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil (don’t substitute)
· ¼ tsp each salt and black pepper
· 3 tbs. breadcrumbs
· 1 egg, lightly beaten
· place all dry ingredients, and butter in food processor
· pulse until coarse
· add cheese and a few drops of water, pulse until mixture forms a ball (add a little more water if needed)
· knead lightly and chill for 30 mins.
· preheat oven to 400
· toss vegetables in oil
· combine onion, garlic, herbs and seasoning
· roll-out enough dough to line an 8” cake pan or spring-form
· layer vegetables beginning with potatoe, sprinkling each layer lightly with breadcrumbs and onion –herb mixture
· roll-out dough for top crust, seal edges with beaten egg, crimp, slash steam holes and wash with remaining egg
· cook for approx 30 mins., pierce with skewer to check for tenderness
|Tin Can Scarecrows-Mahone Bay|