As the days get shorter and the temperatures begin to plummet, I begin craving those warm, hearty meals that fill the soul (and stomach!). I try to put to good use the wonderful bounty of food harvested from my own backyard, local farmers, and in wild places around the City. The wonderful thing about veggie cobbler is that you can use differen combinations of vegetables depending on what's in your fridge, as well as personal taste. Many of the ingredients I used, such root vegetables and the herbs, were grown right here in Newfoundland! Challenge yourself to see how much of this dish you can make from locally grown produce.
(for the filling):
- 1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into a 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups each peeled and thinly sliced carrots, beets, and celery
- 1/2 cup diced butternut squash
- 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup zucchini
- 1 large onion and green onion each, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 1/4 cups hot water
- 1 cup milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp sage
- 2 tsp parsley
- 2 tsp savoury
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
(for the topping):
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F. On medium heat on the stovetop, place the potato, carrots, beets, celery, and butternut squash in a medium-sized pot and fill with enough water to cover the vegetables plus one inch. Bring to a boil, then allow the vegetables to continue boiling for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse the vegetables with cold water and then set them aside.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté them, stirring often until they're soft for about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook the mixture, stirring nonstop, another 30 seconds. Add the vegetable broth, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and sage (these herbs came right out of my garden and were pre-dried to provide me with flavour all winter long!). Continue to stir until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the sauce and stir well. Add more salt and pepper, if desired, then stir in the Parmesan and bring the filling to a simmer. Thin it with water if its consistency is thicker than potato soup. Transfer to a casserole dish or a large pot, like the cast iron one shown above.
- Make the corn bread topping. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk, egg, and oil and stir until evenly blended. Spread the batter over the filling. Bake the cobbler until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbly, about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly before serving. Serves 8.
The key to success in this recipe is to have fun; don't be afraid to experiment with the ingredients and make this recipe into your very own!