It’s during this same time each year when I crave a bowl of something extra cozy and reminiscent of my childhood. Last year it was my meatless meatballs with marinara, and this year it is this cozy hybrid of a veggie pot pie and savory cobbler. I couldn’t choose just one, so I morphed them together into my new favorite winter comfort food. I know we don’t officially step over the winter threshold for a few more weeks, but the markets are already starting to show signs of the dwindling autumn crops and heaps of sturdy winter vegetables. I wanted to create a cozy meal that used the basic-of-the-basics ingredients, yet with one spoonful left my taste buds dancing in the deep and satisfying flavor this combination yields. It’s amazing how a few staples can turn into something so amazing.
The creamy filling is studded with sautéed onions and carrots, broccoli, navy beans, and plenty of dried rosemary. The garlic in the sauce makes it taste rich but not heavy, and the corn and sage biscuits are flaky melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The olive oil is the key to the “buttery” biscuit flavor here, so make sure to buy a high quality extra virgin variety. I could devote paragraphs to this meal, but think it would be best for you to taste firsthand. It comes together quick, despite the lengthy looking instructions, and is really a snap.
A second motivator to create this dish came from a handful of cookie tests I wrapped up last week. I needed something simple and comforting to balance the sweet triumphs I found myself nibbling on pretty consistently. And hear me, I don’t feel bad one bit for my nibbles. I actually made myself sit and eat a plate of cookies each time I had a “win” with a recipe. In order to allow myself to really enjoy them to the fullest, and then move on to the next. It’s been wonderful, and it is truly a gift once you learn the ropes of baking with real, whole food ingredients. Cookies filled with whole grain flours, coconut oil, and natural sweeteners that leave you feeling satisfied and good (not depleted) are what treats are all about, yes? They need to be sweet, they need to taste decadent, and they have no need to be filled with less-than-stellar ingredients to achieve any of this.
I’m so grateful for those who opened my eyes to this wholesome sweets world, and am equally as grateful to get to share my wins in this department with you here. Stay tuned for those cookie recipes next week (I can hardly keep my pants on I’m so excited) and in the meantime, cozy down with a pot of this veggie goodness that is sure to make you feel warm and happy.
On a non-recipe note, I hope you are having the most wonderful and joy-filled holiday seasons so far. Scott and I were a pair of happy kids celebrating five years of marriage this last weekend (woot woot!) and kept it simple in order to save up for a fun trip in January, to enjoy it fully after the holiday hustle. Stay tuned for fun details there, and have the loveliest week friends – December is here and this “reflective” season each year brings me all sorts of joy. I hope it does for you too. – xx
SAVORY WINTER COBBLER
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
quality olive oil, for cooking
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 large carrots, diced
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
sea salt, to taste
4 to 5 cups chopped, fresh broccoli florets
1 cup cooked navy beans
2 cups cooked navy beans
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup spelt flour (light or whole)
1/4 cup organic yellow corn flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, grated (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 cup quality olive oil
1/4 cup plain plant milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Begin by making the filling. Add a few glugs of olive oil to the bottom of a large pot on the stove, preferably oven proof for easy cooking/transferring to the oven for the final bake. (I use this cast iron dutch oven by Staub). Heat to medium and add the diced onion. Add the diced carrot as well and toss to coat. Let the onion and carrots cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and carrot slightly softened. Add the rosemary and sea salt (I add a half teaspoon, but go easy “to taste” if you’d prefer). Let continue to cook on medium, medium-low heat while you blend the sauce.
Combine the ingredients for the creamy sauce in an upright blender. Puree on high until silky smooth. Add the remaining whole navy beans, chopped broccoli florets (small 1-inch pieces, think bite size), and the blender sauce to the pot on the stove. Stir well and press down the filling using the back of a spoon. If the liquid reaches the top of the vegetables the proportion is right, if it is below – add enough vegetable broth to just reach the top of the vegetables. Make sure to stir well. Leave the pot on the stove over medium heat to cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes while you make the biscuits.
Pre heat the oven to 400F.
For the biscuits, add the dry ingredients and sage to a medium mixing bowl and stir. Add the olive oil and stir well. Add the plant milk and apple cider vinegar and continue to stir until the dough comes together. It will thicken nicely once mixed well. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and pat out to a circle about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut out your desired number of biscuits (I did 6 biscuits, about 3.5 inches wide). Re-patting out extra dough to get them all shaped as needed.
Give the bubbling filling on the stove one more good stir before pressing it down with the back of a large spoon. Place the biscuits evenly on top and bake, uncovered, in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The cobbler is done when the biscuits are nice and brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes on the counter before serving. Enjoy hot, and keep leftovers in a glass container in the fridge. This reheats well the next day after a few minutes of re-heating in the oven. Best if eaten within 2 days.
NOTE: I use this 2.75 quart Staub cast iron dutch oven for easy stove-to-oven transferring in this recipe. If you do not have one of similar size to move from one to the other, feel free to transfer your filling after cooking to a suitable oven-safe dish and proceed with the rest of the instructions.