Saturday, January 22, 2011

White Broccoli Crostata, Creamy Potato Soup

A perfect lunch or dinner for a cold winter day. Use this pastry dough for any savory pies or tarts and change up the seasonings.

Flakey savory herb dough wrapped around garlicky-roasted broccoli and bechamel sauce. Simple creamy potato soup with scallions.

Crostata Dough
makes 1 large or 2 individual
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbl dried rosemary
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cubed
4 tbl ice water (+/-)

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, red pepper flakes, pepper and rosemary. Pulse to combine. Add the shortening cubes and pulse until they are pea sized. Add 2tbl of water and pulse. Add additional water, 1 tbl at a time until the dough just comes to a ball. Do not over mix.
Drop out onto the counter and lightly knead into a ball. Flatten and wrap in some plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.
Divide in 2, roll out into thin circles. No need to strive for a perfect circle, crostata's are supposed to be rustic.

White Broccoli Crostata
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets, stems reserved
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbl earth balance vegan butter
2 tbl ap flour
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
10 oz firm silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tofurkey italian sausage, diced (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400. Roast the broccoli florets and stem for 8 minutes with 2 tbl olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and minced garlic.
In a small sauce pan, melt 2 tbl butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute to cook out the raw flour flavor. Slowly stream in the coconut milk while still whisking until no more clumps remain. Season with salt and white pepper. The white sauce will most likely be very thick, if not, bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Chop up the broccoli stem and add to the white sauce. Simmer for one minute and taste for more salt. Transfer to a blender and add the tofu. Blend until completely smooth. Season and set aside.

To Assemble:
Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and spray with canola spray.
Place 2 tbl of breadcrumbs in the center of the dough, leaving a one inch border. Spoon 1/2-3/4 cup of the white sauce on top. Add roasted broccoli, garlic and sausage if using. Wet the border of the dough with some water and fold over but do not close completely. Drizzle the tops with olive oil and bake for 30-35 minutes until the dough is crisp.

Creamy Potato Soup
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, small dice
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and small dice
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup no-chicken vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1 scallion, green parts only, chopped

Sweat the onions with olive oil in a medium sized soup pan until soft and translucent with no color. Add the potatoes, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, coconut milk and vegetable broth. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and totally cooked through.
Transfer to a blender and puree. Return back to the stove and add more vegetable broth if necessary to thin to a consistency of your liking. Season with more salt and pepper. Garnish with scallion.

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