Sweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Sweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's PieWhen it comes to feeling the warmth and comfort around the Thanksgiving table, nothing beats a hearty casserole. With so many delicious fall produce, it’s hard not to create a vegetable side dish that pleases the entire family. With sweet potatoes, mushrooms, beets, kale, and sage, the ingredients and flavors in this vegetarian take on the classic shepherd’s pie, is a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu this year.Sweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

As a vegetarian, I’m sure my fellow non-meat-eaters understand my feeling of missing out on stuffing and well the actual main dish, the turkey. Well I don’t miss the turkey, since I don’t eat meat, but we do often get left to eat marshmallow topped sweet potatoes or green beans, nothing really substantial, and well full of mouth-watering flavors. I almost called this a fall harvest shepherd’s pie, because all the vegetables in this dish are in season, and are best eaten now. It really is a perfect dish for fall, and well into winter months when snowy days call for movie marathons and effortless but comforting meals.

What’s even better, during the hectic days prepping and cleaning leading up to the big turkey day, this dish can be assembled the day before. Then it goes straight from the oven to the table, and served family style, which is how Thanksgiving should be, of course depending if all your guests fit around one table.
Sweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's PieAside from being really delicious, and full of fall flavors, this shepherd’s pie is quick and simple to make too! Because who wants to labor on just one dish on Thanksgiving when you’ve got so many others to focus on. Plus simple is better, trust me your family won’t care if you sourced the best truffles or spent hours and days prepping. All they care about is really great food, and I’m sure they’d want you to stress as little as you possibly can too. I’ll even let you bake the sweet potatoes in the microwave, yes go ahead, I did the same. Once mashed with great quality olive oil and a good amount of fresh sage, no one would even think you didn’t dirty pots to boil them.

If you have a cast iron skillet, then this side dish will require even less dishes, but the filling can also be done in a large skillet or wok, like I’ve done, then transferred to a baking dish or even deep pie plate.

Sweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's PieIt is quite a simple dish, but a very delicious and colorful one at that. I already can’t wait to make it again. I’ve got an even better one for you, leftover greens beans, brussels sprouts, stuffing and sweet potatoes will definitely taste amazing baked into a shepherd’s pie like this one the next day. Because really you won’t want to cook, and eat the same food the next day.

Sweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's PieSweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's PieSweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's PieSweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Sweet Potato + Mushroom Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients {Serves 6 to 8}

3 medium to large – Sweet Potatoes

3 tablespoons – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

Coarse Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Pinch – Cayenne Pepper {optional}

1 medium – Onion {chopped}

2 – Garlic Cloves {finely chopped}

1 – Dried Bay Leaf

12 ounces – Small Portabela Mushrooms {sliced}

1 medium to large – Beet {peeled, thinly chopped}

1 – Celery Stalk {finely sliced}

1 small – Very Ripe Tomato {chopped}

1/2 cup – Red Wine {preferably a dry variety, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot}

About 3 cups – Purple Kale {coarsely chopped – use regular green kale if your market doesn’t have purple}

1 tablespoon – Dried Sage

1 1/2 teaspoon – Dried Tarragon {optional, replace with rosemary, sage or oregano}

1/4 to 1/2 cup – Vegetable Broth

6 to 7 – Fresh Sage Leaves {finely chopped}

Recipe

Pre-heat oven to 425*F, and lightly oil a round baking dish. Cook potatoes until tender, either peel and boil in a pot about 20 minutes, or wash, wrap in paper towel and microwave about 15 minutes {depending on your microwaves potency}, then remove peel. In a bowl, mash the potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, the fresh sage, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet or wok {or cast iron skillet}, heat the remaining oil, and add the garlic, onion, bay leaf, beet, celery and mushrooms. Cook stirring occasionally until onions begin to just caramelize, liquid has absorbed and mushroom are browned and slightly crispy {about 10 minutes}. Slowly add in the wine, dried sage and tarragon, season with salt, pepper and cayenne, and cook until liquid is slightly reduced {about 3 minutes}. Add in the tomato, and allow to cook for a minute. Stir in the kale, and 1/4 cup of the broth. Add the remaining broth, if your filling dried out to quickly. Bring to a quick boil, and cook until kale is wilted and cooked through {about 3 minutes}. Remove the bay leaf.

Transfer to prepared baking dish, and top with mashed potatoes. {If using a cast iron skillet, simply top the cooked filling with the potatoes and bake} Drizzle with olive oil, and bake until bubbling {about 10 to 15 minutes}. Serve hot.


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