I had planned to make stir-fry, but earlier in the day I read about chicken pot pie and that started a craving for something very cozy and fall-like. I also wanted to test a theory concerning my kohlrabi-potato mash and had a handful of veggies in the crisper drawer that were, well, were no longer in their prime. Originally I thought I’d make soup and the mash and stir-fry but sometime this afternoon I changed that to simply shepherd’s pie. Now I know that is supposed to have meat, but luckily I found three versions in my vegetarian cookbooks. One version had tofu, another mushrooms and the third just a lot of veggies. I decided to go for the mushroom route and grabbed most of the veggies remaining in the fridge.
You could of course just use potatoes (increase the amount) for the topping, or you could saute less kohlrabi as part of the filling. The first time I made potato-kohlrabi mash (yes I keep changing the name) I just boiled both of them together and then mashed. This created a chunky mash with definite chunks of kohlrabi, not necessarily bad but not what I wanted for my topping tonight. This time around I boiled the kohlrabi first, and the pureed it in the food processor while the potatoes boiled (in the same pan & water) and then dumped the pureed kohlrabi into the potatoes and mashed it all together. This did create a smoother mash, but I also ended up with a watery kohlrabi puree, it might have been due to being boiled, or it might have been because I added too much milk (it wouldn’t puree nicely without a little liquid).
- 1 1/2 T oil
- 1/2 red onion, in 1/2″ dice
- 6-8 oz mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 1 t thyme
- 1 t basil
- salt & pepper
- 2 carrots, 1/4″ thick slices
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 1 small head broccoli, chopped
- ~8 oz green beans, trimmed and chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T flour
- 1/2 c. veggie stock*
- 2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and diced
- 5 small potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1-2 T butter
- splash milk
*Ideally it would be a mushroom stock, but I used a veggie boullion cube with water and then enriched with a spoonful of nutritional yeast.
Start by heating the oil in a large skillet and add the onions. When they begin to get soft add the mushrooms, crush the thyme and basil in your palm as you sprinkle it over everything and a generous pinch of salt. Then add the carrot and celery. As that softens and browns add the broccoli, green beans and bell pepper. Once the veggies are soft and gently browned sprinkle on the flour, and then pour about half of the veggie stock over everything. Stir well, making sure to get the good bits that were stuck to the pan and add more stock if needed. You don’t want a lot of sauce, just enough to coat everything.
Meanwhile make the potato-kohlrabi mash. Put a pot of water on to boil, add the diced kohlrabi and a bit of salt, boil until soft. Remove kohlrabi from pot with a slotted spoon and puree in the food processor (with a splash of milk). Add the potato to the boiling water and boil until soft. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan with a chunk of butter, add the pureed kohlrabi and mash until they are smooth. If your mash is a little watery, like mine was, place it in a cheesecloth lined mesh strainer for 10 minutes or so.
Place the vegetable mixture in an oiled pie pan then top with the mash and smooth it out. Place in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until everything is heated through, the mash will just start to brown around the edges and the sauce will be bubbling at the sides.