15 August 2012

Vegetable Cobbler

There was something so utterly comforting about this dish. While it worked really well this evening, at the height of summer, I can see myself making it when the snow is blowing and the drafts are shifting throughout the house.  It's an easy mix of celery, onion, garlic, carrots, acorn squash, cauliflower, tomatoes, mushrooms, red lentils, oregano, chives, and parsley, vegetable broth, some hot spicy chili sauce, and a cornstarch and water thickener. This 'cobbler' has chunks of everything; there is no mincing here. It's substantial vegetarian fare. The dish is topped with herbed dumplings that have been cheesed up with smoked Gouda. We had it with a big bowl of steamed green beans and big glasses of Meritage.

... just as good the next day for a quick lunch ...

A keeper recipe ... this one! The original recipe comes from that book on pub cooking that I mentioned yesterday - Irish Pub Cooking. I changed it up quite a bit, as I have distinct opinions as to cobblers and how they should look, don't like Tabasco sauce (in the original recipe), and have a guy that turns his nose up at turnips (hence the acorn squash). That's what cooking's all about, though. We all change things up to make them fit our tastes and sensibilities. I'm sure if you make this recipe you will change things up a bit too! Enjoy!

Vegetable Cobbler
adapted from Irish Pub Cooking/ Parragon Books Ltd

Vegetable Base Ingredients:

3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 large celery stalks, sliced into half inch chunks
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into half inch chunks
½ c. red lentils, picked over
half a head of cauliflower, washed and broken into small florets
half an acorn squash, peeled and chopped into half inch chunks
5 tomatoes, washed and quartered, seeded, and chopped into small chunks
small box Crimini mushrooms, rubbed clean, stemmed, and chopped
1 tsp. dried or 2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
a good sprinkling black pepper
1 ¼ c. vegetable broth
2 tsp. hot chili garlic sauce
4 tbsp. water mixed with 2 heaping tbsp. cornstarch

Cobbler Topping Ingredients:

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. cold butter
two pinches Kosher salt
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. chopped chives
1 c. grated smoked Gouda cheese plus a bit more grated for topping the dumplings
1 large egg
⅔ c. milk

Making the Dish:

1. Prepare all the vegetables and have them set in piles alongside the stove.
2. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large deep frypan. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook over medium heat for five minutes, tossing to brown the surfaces.
3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, tossing to keep it from browning to quickly.
4. Turn the mix into a deep covered casserole. Add the red lentils. Cover and keep warm.
5. Add the last tbsp. olive oil to the hot fry pan and add the acorn squash and cauliflower, letting the pieces brown on all sides.
6. Add the mushrooms and let them give up some liquid and brown a bit too.
7. Measure out the vegetable broth. Make the cornstarch slurry and add it to the broth. Stir in the hot chili sauce. Set aside.
8. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the squash, cauliflower and mushrooms and let things bubble a bit.
9. Turn the tomatoes et al into the casserole with the carrots, lentils, etc and toss to combine.
10. Sprinkle on the black pepper, parsley, and oregano. Stir up the broth mixture and pour over top the whole mess.
11. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 °F oven for 35 minutes.
12. While the vegetable mixture cooks, make the topping.
13. Place the flour, salt, baking powder in a food processor bowl. Whiz to combine.
14. Cut the cold butter into small chunks and drop it into the food processor, pulsing between additions to cut the butter into tiny pieces. 
15. When the mixture is 'mealy', whisk the egg and milk together and add all at once, whizzing to make a dough ball that comes together around the blade of the processor.
16. Add the herbs and cheese and whiz just to combine.
17.  Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the temperature to 400 °F.
18. Place dollops of dumplings atop the bubbling vegetable mix, sprinkle on a small grating of smoked Gouda and return the casserole to the oven. Bake for fifteen minutes uncovered. Cover the casserole and bake for another 15 minutes.
19. Remove the cover again and let the cobbler get golden (under the broiler, if necessary) and a bit crisped.
20. Serve hot from the oven.


  1. This is a unique twist on an old favourite, perfect for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

  2. its just the best thing ever isn't it... like scones on top of a stew... it's like the world is now perfect!

  3. After reading this I am now looking forward to the colder weather and these warming, hearty foods, it looks so good!

  4. I'm saving this one for the first brisk day in autumn. It sounds yummy.

  5. Oh my! What hearty fare Susan and I am swooning at the sight of those fluffy biscuits/cobblers. I can see endless possibilities here - what a great dish!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  6. Now that is what I call a full on vegetarian dish and just what is needed in the cold wet summer we are having here in the UK never mind waiting for winter. Hearty fare which looks delicious as well as nutritious. Don't think I've had a cobbler for years and years.

  7. I have this thing with turnips too - I like them as a free standing vegetable (roasted) but not in a soup or any mixed dish (I know!).

    Hearty vegetable dishes are quite rare, this is a good one to have in hand.

  8. I have been yearning for some real comfort food. This hot summer has wrung me out. I need some substantial fare that with some flavor complexity that leaves me saying, "That was some real good food!" Looks good kid!


    1. High praise from the cooking God, himself! Although, why you're moaning about the summer when youjust have been to the Cape is beyond me, rascal!

  9. Oh, it's heaven in a pot! I LOVE fresh veggies and this dish looks superb, I can't wait to make it!!!

  10. I can honestly say I've never heard of a veg cobbler before, but it's sounds wonderful! It reminds me of a vegetarian version of a chicken pot pie (with biscuit topping). Looks very tasty and excited to try this out. Thanks!

  11. This a great recipe to make with vegetables. Kids would definitely eat their veggies if its cooked like this. Yum! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.
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  12. Sprout Sara24/8/12 12:07 PM

    Yum. Bookmarking this one for fall. I was in the checkout line at Whole Foods last night with some cauliflower on the conveyer, and the cashier asked me how I make it. I told him I just usually roast it for picking during the week, and he started in on this dish his mother made back in Iraq growing up. He called it a 'sauce' served over rice that consisted of onions, lamb, cauliflower, and a certain kind of spice which he didn't know the name to in English. It sounded really good, and now I'm interested in finding it...

  13. I made this a few weeks ago. It was awesome.


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