An Elegant Vegetarian Thanksgiving Entree
I bet you thought I’d forgot about this. I didn’t. See, funny things happen when you try to shoot photos for a blog. The colors don’t always come out right. Or a bug appears in the middle of your plate. Or, as with me, you’re just not happy. Not with the pictures, not with the recipe. So, you start over. You work on the recipe. Fix it three times in two weeks. Oh, how my family suffers for my art. They have to eat all the mistakes and practice recipes. They suffer, I tell you!
Assemble all your ingredients.
Or most of them. I always seem to forget something.
Chop up the cauliflower. Count out 20 florets and set aside in a small bowl. Not 19 or 21 florets, 20!
Put the rest of the cauliflower into a large bowl. Clean and slice the leek. You’ll need 5, one inch slices. Put those in the large, cauliflower bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil, some salt and pepper and give a toss. Spread them out on a large baking sheet.
Now, cut the tops off of the garlic heads, place on foil square, and drizzle with 1/2 tsp oil.
Wrap the foil around the garlic. Put the garlic on the pan with the cauliflower and roast in a 425º oven for 30 – 45 minutes. Flip them all over at the halfway mark, so they get nice and browned on both sides. Don’t flip the garlic. All the oil will spill out and you don’t want that to happen. After the leeks and cauliflower are browned and tender, remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool.
Open the foil around the garlic so it can cool some, too.
I turn my oven off after I pull the pan out. It takes another 20 minutes of preparation before you’ll be ready for it again, so if you want to keep it on or turn it off, it’s up to you. While the garlic is still warm, squeeze garlic pulp from each clove into a food processor.
Add cauliflower mixture and 1 tsp Tamari soy sauce, and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set the puree aside.
You can do all this part ahead of time and put the puree in the fridge until you are really to continue with the dish. Just pull it out, so it can come to room temperature while you are working on the rest of the recipe. This would be a great time to get the puff pastry out of the refrigerator, too.
Chop the head of broccoli into florets. Halve the carrot lengthwise, then cut into half moons. Take the remaining leek part, cut in half lengthwise, and then into 1/4 inch strips. Pile all this into a bowl and dump in the mushrooms.
Place a large fry pan on the stove over medium high heat. Swirl in the oil and dump in the mixed vegetables and stir fry. While they are cooking, combine the wine, cornstarch, Tamari soy sauce, thyme, salt, & pepper, in small bowl and stir until cornstarch has dissolved.
When the veggie mix is fork tender and browned, after about 5 to 7 minutes, pour in the cornstarch mixture and stir a couple of minutes until thickened. Remove from stove and let cool.
Remove a large roasted red pepper from the jar. Spread it out and pat dry. Cut into 16 thin strips. Set aside.
Now, unfold the puff pastry on a work surface. Roll it flat into a 12 inch square. Cut the square into 4 smaller squares and put on a lined baking sheet. Chill the dough for 15 minutes to get ready for the next step. Heat your oven to 425º.
Spread 1/4 cup of the cauliflower puree in the center of each pastry. Top the puree with a scoop of the vegetable mix. Arrange 2 red pepper strips on each pastry, laying one strip from top to bottom and the other from side to side.
Fold corners of pastry squares over vegetable filling and into center, pinching corners to seal.
Brush pastry squares with a lightly beaten egg-white
and bake for 12 -15 minutes until they are nice a browned. Let rest for 5 minutes. Now, go wow your guests with your magnificent Vegetables en Croute!
- 1 large head cauliflower (2 to 3 lbs), cut into small florets, divided, setting aside 20 florets.
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets. About 2 cups of florets.
- 1 large carrot, halved lengthwise, then cut into half moons.
- 1 8oz pkg sliced white mushrooms.
- 1 leek. Clean the leeks. Cut off the root bottom and the dark green leaves, so you end up with the white and light green parts only. Slice into 5 - 1 inch rounds, set aside. Slice the remainder in half lengthwise, and then into ¼ inch strips.
- 1 large roasted red pepper from jar. Pat dry and slice into 16 thin strips. Use as many peppers as necessary.
- 3 Tbs. plus ½ tsp. olive oil, divided
- salt and ground black pepper, as needed
- 2 heads garlic
- 2 tsp Tamari soy sauce, divided
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, stripped off the stems
- 1 17.3-oz pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)
- 1 egg white, beaten, for brushing dough
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Set aside 20 cauliflower florets in bowl. Toss remaining cauliflower florets and 5 leek rounds with 1 Tbs oil. Season with 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Spread on large baking sheet. Cut tops off garlic heads, place on foil square, and drizzle with ½ tsp oil. Close foil around garlic. Place foil wrapped garlic and cauliflower loaded baking sheet in oven, and roast 30-45 minutes, stirring cauliflower halfway through cooking time, until cauliflower and leeks are browned and fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- At this point, you can turn your oven off or leave it on while you prepare the rest – it will take about 20 minutes.
- While garlic is still warm, squeeze garlic pulp from each clove into work bowl of a food processor. Add cauliflower mixture and 1 tsp Tamari soy sauce, and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.
- Combine wine, cornstarch, remaining 1 tsp Tamari soy sauce, thyme, ¼ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, in small bowl and stir until cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat remaining 2 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add broccoli florets, carrots, reserved 20 cauliflower florets, mushrooms, and sliced leeks, and stir-fry 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to brown. Add cornstarch mixture, and stir-fry 1-2 minutes more, or until most of liquid has evaporated and vegetables are coated with sauce. Remove from heat, and cool.
- Remove a large roasted red pepper from the jar. Spread it out and pat dry. Cut into 16 thin strips. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, roll each sheet of puff pastry into 12-inch square on floured work surface. Cut each sheet into 4 squares, and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Spread ¼ cup cauliflower puree in a circle in center of each pastry