Vegetable Cobbler Serves 6 to 8
This main-dish cobbler with its golden crust and dill-infused filling marries macrobiotic principles with Western ingredients.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 to 45 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, halved lengthwise
1/4 pound mixed mushrooms (1-1/2 cups), trimmed and halved or quartered
1 large carrot
1 large red potato
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons kuzu root starch
2 tablespoons natural soy sauce
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 6-inch piece kombu sea vegetable
1/4 pound each broccoli and cauliflower (about 3 cups total)
1/4 cup English peas, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
21/4 teaspoons nonaluminum baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons canola oil plus a little to brush the surface
1/2 cup plain soymilk
1 teaspoon minced dill for garnish
1. Cut all vegetables in 1-inch bite-size pieces. Place a baking sheet or aluminum foil on the oven floor to catch any drips.
2. Place kuzu in a small bowl with the soy sauce and enough of the vegetable broth or water to cover. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the leek and mushrooms and sauté briefly. Add the carrot and potato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir.
4. Add the remaining vegetable broth to the pot with kombu. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a slow boil. Cook the vegetables until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cauliflower with the peas and the dill. Stir and cook 5 minutes more. Remove kombu. Stir the kuzu to dissolve it and gradually mix it into the vegetables to make a sauce. Transfer the filling to a lightly oiled 2-quart baking dish.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare the topping, mix the flours with the baking powder and salt. Stir in the oil. Gradually add the soymilk. Stir in a little more flour if necessary. Gingerly shape the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out about 1/4-inch thick to fit the baking dish. Place the dough over the vegetables and tuck it down around the edges. With a fork, poke air vents in the dough.
6. Bake cobbler until the broth bubbles up around the edges and the crust is golden, about 20 minutes. After 15 minutes, brush the surface with oil and sprinkle a teaspoon of dill over the top. Return the casserole to the oven to bake 5 minutes longer. Allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.
Variations: For a heart-warming presentation, cut the biscuit dough in shapes with a cookie cutter and arrange them on top to cover most of the filling. Or, slice dough in 1/2-inch wide strips. Weave strips together to make a lattice top. To make a drop biscuit topping, add 1 cup soymilk for a wetter mixture. Spoon it on top to cover the vegetables.