Fresh Fava Pot Pie

Bottom Crust:

1 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour

Pinch Salt

6 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Margarine

2 - 4 Tablespoons Cold Water

Filling:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Medium Carrot, Peeled and Finely Diced

1 Stalks Celery, Diced

1/2 Small Yellow Onion, Diced

1 Skinny Leek, Quartered Lengthwise and Chopped (1 Cup)

1 Cup Roughly Chopped Crimini or Button Mushrooms

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Cornstarch

1/2 Cup Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk

2 Tablespoons Mirin, or Dry White Wine + 1 Teaspoon Light Agave Nectar

1 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 Bay Leaf

2 Teaspoons Nutritional Yeast

1/4 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning

1/4 Teaspoon Hot Paprika

Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 1/2 Cup Shelled and Skinned Fresh Fava Beans, or Frozen and Defrosted

1 Cup Chopped Asparagus (1/2-Inch Pieces)

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Potato Top Crust:

1 Medium Russet Potato

1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Pinch Coarse Sea Salt

Fresh Chopped Chives or Scallion for Garnish, Optional

First things first, prepare the pastry dough. The easiest way is to toss the flour, salt, and margarine into a food processor, and pulse until you get a coarse consistency with lumps of margarine the size of peas. Add in the water slowly, one tablespoon a time, while continuing to pulse, until it all comes together into a cohesive dough. Otherwise, you can also place the flour and salt in a large bowl, and cut in the margarine by hand with a pastry cutter or two forks. Then add in the water until it comes together. Wrap up your pastry in plastic wrap, flatten it out to a rough disk, and stash it in the fridge for at least one hour, or overnight.

Once chilled, turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll it out gently, as thinly as possible without creating holes. Approximately 2 - 4 cm is ideal. Lightly oil two medium sized glass or ceramic dishes that can hold about 4 cups each, and cut out rounds of pastry slightly larger than the bowls. Ease the pastry into each prepared dish, and use your fingers to smooth out the corners and sides. Press the pastry hard against the rim of the dishes to trim it, and leave a tiny bit of overhang to help keep it standing tall while baking. Place the pastry-lined bowls in the fridge for the time being.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and set to work on the filling next.

Place a large pot or sautee pan over medium heat, and add in the oil. Once hot, toss in the prepared carrots, celery, onions, leeks, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Once softened and lightly browned, add in the salt and cornstarch, stirring well to thoroughly coat the vegetables in the starch. Pour in the "milk," mirin, and vinegar, and mix vigorously to prevent lumps from forming. Next, incorporate the bay leaf, nutritional yeast, poultry seasoning, paprika, and black pepper, to taste. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pull out your mandoline if you've got one, and slice the potato into coins of about 1 mm in thickness. You can also do this by hand with a sharp knife; Just be sure to have patience in good supply. Toss the slices with oil, and set aside.

Turn off the heat on the filling, and toss in the fava beans, asparagus, and parsley at the last possible moment- You don't want them to get over-cooked in the oven. Mix well to distribute the veggies. Divide the filling evenly between your two pastry-lined dishes, and place both on a baking sheet for easier removal from the oven, and to catch any accidental drips. Layer your potatoes in a circular pattern on top of each pie, and finish each with a light sprinkle of coarse salt. You will likely have extra potato, but hang on to them; They make for fantastic chips. Move the assembled pies into the preheated oven, and bake for 45 - 50 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown and the potatoes are browned around the edges. In case the potatoes threaten to burn, tent the pies with aluminum foil about 35 minutes into the baking process.

Let cool for at least 10 - 15 minutes before serving, and finish with a sprinkle of chopped chives or scallion, if desired.

Makes 2 - 4 Servings

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com