Vegetable Popover Pie
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
I love the month of November. I enjoy the peak foliage of October, but November in the Northeast has its own beauty - nature's colors are softer, muted, with the landscape around our home turned into layers of tawny grey, raw umber, and bronze. I have been taking advantage of this time with long walks in the woods and around the neighborhood.
November, especially when the clocks change and we are plunged into darkness, is also a time for carb-loading. I try to avoid this, but I do find myself eating more as it gets colder and darker. If we are not careful, the month of November at our house can quickly devolve into Fat Bear Week. All the more reason to increase my mileage.
Everyone has one type of starchy treat - potato chips, or pizza-- which in a perfect world we would eat without consequence forever. For me this is unquestionably Yorkshire Pudding. Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, the ur-WASP Sunday feast, was my family's favorite meal when I was growing up. The roast beef (oh the delectable memories of those tiny, stringy, hideously expensive roasts of the 1970s!) were just a pretext for the real treat - golden popovers cooked in beef drippings which came to the table puffed and shining. God, they were delicious.
I never cook roasts of beef anymore, or very rarely, so have not had any occasion to make Yorkshire Pudding. I have tried to make plain popovers, which have always been disappointing and bland without the salty funk of the beef drippings.
This dish uses the carmelized flavor of the vegetables cooked inside the pudding as an alternative to the beef drippings. It is deeply savory.
Vegetable Popover Pie
1 red bell pepper, sliced, or half a red onion, quartered
2 portobello mushrooms, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons gruyère
salt and white pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss sliced vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste
Lay out vegetables onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil
Bake in the oven until vegetables develop a nice char (15-20 minutes)
While vegetables are cooking, whisk together eggs, milk, flour, cheese and salt & pepper.
Generously butter an oven proof pan (for best results, use a cast iron skillet)
When vegetables are ready to come out of the oven, pour batter into the pan.
Arrange the vegetables in the center of the batter
Bake at 400 degrees until the pudding puffs and turns golden (15-20 minutes).
Slice and serve.