Vegetable Pot Pie with Wine Sauce and Polenta Crust, Spinach Salad with Basalmic-Thyme Vinaigrette, Pumpkin Pie

by Jennifer

This was a company night, hence the extra nice dinner and Pumpkin Pie for dessert!

Vegetable Pot Pie with Wine Sauce and Polenta Crust – adapted from Bon Appetit

If the pot pie seems a little daunting, it’s really not;  there’s some down-time while the vegetables are roasting, and you can even roast the vegetables a day ahead…just bring them to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.   I add baked tofu for protein, but you can leave it out if you’d rather.  I also used instant polenta, which cooks slightly faster than regular polenta;  you can use either.  Photo caveat:  the sun was streaming in my kitchen window, pots were steaming and at one point, polenta was exploding on the stove-top, so my apologies for not having as many photos as I would have liked!

Serves 6.

Filling:

  • 15 frozen pearl onions, thawed (such as Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 12 oz. rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 leek, chopped and rinsed (white and pale green parts only)
  • 12 oz white mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried herbs de Provence, OR 1/2 tsp each dried basil, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 7 oz. package organic baked tofu, savory flavor (such as Trader Joe’s brand), diced

Wine Sauce:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup good red wine (a kind you’d like to drink), divided
  • 1 TBS cornstarch

Polenta:

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups instant polenta (from a 9.2 oz package)
  • 2 TBS freshly grated Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine pearl onions through dried herbs in a large roasting pan;  roast for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until all vegetables are tender.

Stir in the peas and tofu, if using.  Transfer vegetables to a serving dish;  mine was 8×12”, like a lasagne pan.  Turn down oven heat to 350.  In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable broth and 3/4 cup wine to a simmer.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup wine and 1 TBS cornstarch, then

add it to the simmering broth/wine mixture;  cook for a few minutes, or until it thickens.

Pour sauce over vegetables.

In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable broth, water and salt to a boil.  Add the polenta slowing, stirring constantly, and stir until it thickens (turn down the heat quickly to avoid a similar polenta explosion), about 3 minutes for instant, 10 minutes for regular polenta.

Pour polenta over vegetables and smooth out;  sprinkle with Romano cheese.

Bake pie at 350 degrees for 15 minutes;  turn on broiler and broil until polenta is golden, about 4 minutes.  (I will admit, after the polenta explosion and my kids simultaneously playing the piano, drums and running around the kitchen, I forgot the broiling part.  Still tasty, though!)

Spinach Salad with Balsamic-Thyme Vinaigrette

Serves 6.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 oz. baby spinach

Whisk together dressing ingredients, oil through pepper.

Toss with spinach and serve.

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