Tender bits of cauliflower, carrots, parsnips and chickpeas are simmered in creamy dairy-free sauce and baked up in a fluffy biscuit-topped casserole to make this savory vegan cobbler.
This is actually kind of cheesy. That was my original intent: cheesy vegan cobbler, because who can resist cheesy baked up veggies topped with biscuits? But I'm always a little nervous about calling something cheesy because sometimes cheesy vegan stuff can be really bad. I probably have more cheesy recipes in the scrap pile than anything else, and that makes me nervous that putting cheesy in the title is going to scare folks off. But I've been having lots of luck lately with the vegan cheesiness. I think I hit my stride back with last fall's cheddar beer soup. There's more to come too, so brace yourselves.
This particular piece of cheesy vegan goodness is vegan comfort food at it's finest. I used this vegan chicken and dumplings recipe from a while back as inspiration. If there's one thing that dish taught me, it's to never fear mass amounts of nutritional yeast. That one took a whole cup(!) and I got a number of questions as to whether the amount was a typo. It wasn't, and it totally worked. This time around I went with a bit less, but I also used some non-dairy milk to creamy things up. Make sure you use a variety of milk that's not sweetened (as most brands are). I made that mistake the first time around. The dish was good, but I knew a do-over could make it a lot better. The parsnips and carrots add plenty of sweetness.
For the biscuits I went super lazy and just dropped big old dough balls on top of my casserole. They baked up perfectly, and I really kind of dig the rustic look I ended up with.
Creamy Cauliflower Savory Vegan Cobbler
For the Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups diced carrots, about 2 medium
- 1 ½ cups diced parsnips, about 1 large
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups cauliflower florets, about 1 large crown
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk
- ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoons cayenne pepper hot sauce, optional
For the Biscuit Topping
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup vegan butter
- ¾ cup unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk
Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, and parsnips. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are softened. Add in the garlic and sauté about 1 minute more, until very fragrant. Add in the flour and stir until the veggies are well coated.
Stir in the cauliflower, broth, milk, nutritional yeast, thyme, rosemary, soy sauce, and vinegar. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the hot sauce if using.
While the stew simmers, preheat the oven to 375° and begin making the biscuit dough. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegan butter and cut it in with a fork or pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the milk to form a dough.
Once the stew is finished simmering, transfer it to a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Scoop ¼-cupfuls of the dough (you should get about 9) and arrange then on top of the stew.
Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the biscuits are fluffy and the stew is just getting bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.