Roasted chickpea & tarragon pie

This pie is full of flavors and textures!! It’s got roasted chickpeas, mushrooms and shallots! (All together they turn out pleasantly crispy/substantial/soft.) It’s got spinach sauteed with hot red pepper, garlic and lemon! It has smoked gouda! It has a flaky lemon-pepper crust! And it has tarragon!

And it all works beautifully together. Although it looks and tastes complicated, it’s really fairly easy. Being so handsome and deliciously impressive, this would make a nice holiday meal for the vegetarians in your life. I made the edge of the crust quite tall so that you could pile your holiday mashed potatoes right on top.

Since Christmas is A-Coming, we’ll let Leadbelly tell you all about it.

1 batch paté brisée. Add the very finely grated zest of one lemon and a teaspoon of ground pepper to the flour before you mix everything in.

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas rinsed and well-drained
12 oz. mushrooms, cut in 1/3 inch dice
1 shallot, finely chopped
olive oil
1/2 t. sage
1/2 t. thyme
1 T. fresh tarragon finely chopped
8 oz spinach, washed and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated smoked gouda
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (more or less, depending on your cheese love)
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the mushrooms, chickpeas, shallot, herbs and about 3 T olive oil on a baking tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the mushrooms are crispy,the shallots have started to caramelize, and the chickpeas are rusty brown and have hardened slightly. They’re a nice texture like this – not crunchy, but very pleasingly toothsome, if that’s a word!

Warm some olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the spinach and a squeeze of lemon (1 or 2 teaspoons). Cook till the spinach is wilted and the pan is quite dry.

Tip the chickpeas and mushrooms into a bowl. Add the cheese and mix well. Salt and ground pepper it. Add about 1 T of beaten egg, and mix that in well.

Put your spinach in a bowl. Add about 1 T of beaten egg and mix well.

You should have a few teaspoons of egg leftover.

Take your dough out of the fridge. I used a straight sided dish, (I don’t know what it’s called!) that I got at Ikea. It holds about 5 cups and it has tall sides (well, 2 inches, maybe?) But you could use an ordinary cake pan of 8 or 9 inches. Vagueness has set in!! Whatever you choose to use, prepare it by buttering and lightly flouring it.

Divide your dough 3/4 – 1/4. Roll the larger ball to be about 1/8th inch thick, and roughly the shape of your baking dish. Press the dough into the dish, making a smooth wall by gently pressing any overlapping parts together. Leave about an inch extra all around the top.

Put 1/3 of the chickpea mixture into the crust and smooth it down. Next put 1/2 the spinach in a smooth layer. THen another third of chickpeas, then the rest of the spinach, then the rest of the chickpeas.

Roll the remaining ball of dough into a shape about the shape of your dish but an inch larger all around. Lay it on top, and roll the edges up with the edges of the lower piece of dough to form a rim all the way round. With a fork, press this together, and press it against the dish to make it quite tall.

Brush the top with the remaining egg.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about half an hour, till the top is crispy and golden brown.

Allow it to cool and set for 10 minutes before you cut into it.


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