This recipe is perfect for showcasing two of autumn's greatest vegetables: butternut squash and chestnuts! It is really easy to make so don't let the many steps intimidate you. The cauliflower "crust" won't taste like a flour based one, but it's delicious in its own right!
Savory Butternut Squash and Chestnut Pie [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- Florets from 1 organic cauliflower
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 3 tablespoons of ground chia seeds plus 9 tablespoons of water (see tips below for alternatives)
- A pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 3/4 cup butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and chopped
- 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable stock
- A splash of store bought homemade almond or seed milk
- 2 tablespoons of ground chia seed plus 6 tablespoons of water (see tips below for alternatives)
- 4-5 whole chestnuts (cooked, peeled and ready to use)
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of cinnamon
- A splash of olive oil
- 4-5 chestnut mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice), washed and sliced
- A splash of olive oil
- 1/2 kale leaf, washed and finely chopped
- 1 baby leek or spring onion, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix the ground chia seeds and water together and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Line a 9.5-inch pie form with baking paper and grease lightly with oil.
- Coarsely chop the cauliflower, place in a food processor and blend until it has a rice-like consistency. You can also use a hand-held blender if you don't have a food processor.
- Measure about 3 cups of the cauliflower mixture and place it in a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds and salt and mix together with your hands. Then add the chia and water mixture and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon, until everything is nicely combined.
- Neatly and evenly spread the mixture into the pie form, going as high up the edge as possible, just as you would with a traditional sweet pumpkin pie. Then bake for about 25-30 minutes.
- As the cauliflower pie crust is baking away, start working on your filling.
- Peel the pumpkin/butternut squash and chop into small pieces. Place the pumpkin/squash, nutmeg, cinnamon and vegetable stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is nice and soft.
- Combine the ground seeds and water in a small dish and set aside.
- Then remove the pan with the pumpkin/squash from the heat, add the milk, chestnuts and oil and puree with a handheld mixer until smooth.
- At this point, your pie crust should be done and out of the oven. Fill the pie crust with the mixture. Put the entire pie back in the oven, reducing the temperature to 350°F and keep in there for about 30 minutes.
- Place a small frying pan on medium heat. Add the oil, then the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and stir intermittently. It’s super important that all the water is released from the mushrooms and evaporates.
- After about 10 minutes, add the finely chopped kale, stirring briefly. Then remove from the heat. Let it all cool before adding the pepper (to taste) and chopped leeks/spring onions.
- As the pie comes out of the oven, decorate it with the mixture and serve warm.