Cauliflower and Mushroom Casserole with Olive Tapenade Crust
Cold weather and dark days always make me want something warm and yummy from the oven, which is why I tend to make more casseroles in the winter. Last weekend I made for the first time what is now one of my favorite recipes from the Veganomicon, (page 161) "Cauliflower and Mushroom Potpie with Black Olive Crust." My version has a few slight variations from the original, but it turned out absolutely delish and I will definitely be making it again. (My version is below--for the original, check out the Veganomicon.)
Preheat your oven to 375 and spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray.
In a pan on your stove top, saute 2 leeks sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces along with 1 sliced carrot in 2 tablespoons of grape seed or olive oil for about 6 minutes. Then add 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and 2 teaspoons of sherry. Cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, and then add your cauliflower. (I used 1 large head of cauliflower cut into pieces). Stir briefly and partially cover, steaming for another 8 minutes.
For the crust:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
a couple of pinches of thyme.
Cut in 3 tablespoons cold margarine until crumbs form, and then drizzle in 3 tablespoons of cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms. The recipe then calls for folding in 1/3 cup pitted black kalamata olives, but I used 1/3 cup of Trader Joes olive tapenade. (The recipe also calls for rolling the dough out onto a floured surface and cutting it into diamond shapes, but I ended up using my round cookie cutter that I use when I make biscuits.)
For the Sauce:
In a saucepan, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of flour until a thick paste forms. Then pour in 2 cups of almond milk and along with:
2 teaspoons tarragon
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt.
Whisk constantly over medium heat until the sauce is thick and blended, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour your vegetables into your casserole pan, pour the sauce over the veggies, and then lay overlapping pieces of the crust across the top of the casserole. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving, and then enjoy!