Skillet Vegetable Potpie
By Hetty McKinnon
Loaded with the season’s finest offerings, this pie comes together in one skillet and manages to be hearty yet light. Leek provides a sweet and aromatic base, potatoes add body, fennel delivers an earthy note and asparagus imparts crisp freshness. (You could also use broccoli or green beans.) Sour cream in the base offers a slight tang and keeps the sauce light. Be sure to chop all of your vegetables around the same size to ensure they cook evenly and are tender by the time the pastry is golden. If you like, add other seasonal vegetables like peas or fava beans in the spring, or cauliflower or Brussels sprouts in the fall and winter. (Frozen vegetables work well, too.) When using store-bought puff pastry, thaw it in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have an ovenproof 9- or 10-inch skillet, simply transfer the mixture to a similar-sized round or square baking dish.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Total time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, cored and finely diced into 1/4-inch pieces (about 14 ounces)
2 medium Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, peeled and finely diced into 1/4-inch pieces (about 14 ounces)
16 to 20 asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (about 12 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 cup vegetable stock
8 ounces sour cream
1 bunch of chives, finely sliced (about ½ cup)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup grated Gruyère (about 3 ounces)
1 (14-ounce) sheet puff pastry, completely thawed
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
1. Place an oven rack in the middle position, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and set aside.
2. Heat a 9- to 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium high. Add the olive oil, leek, garlic and fennel, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add the potatoes, asparagus and salt, then season with black pepper and stir. Scatter with the flour and give it a quick stir to coat well. Add the stock, sour cream, chives, Dijon mustard and Gruyère, and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.
3. On a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry 1 to 2 inches wider than the skillet. Carefully place the puff pastry over the top of the skillet and trim any long edges, then, working quickly, tuck and fold in the edges of the pastry so it sits just inside the rim of the skillet, to create a rough border. Brush the pastry with egg wash and carefully score the top with a few slits to allow air to escape during baking.
4. Place the skillet on the baking sheet and transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden and bubbling around the edges. Let sit for 10 minutes before eating.