Spring is in full swing in Washington DC and my herb garden is starting to take root. This year I have planted some exotic herbs like Apple Mint, Lemon Verbena and Pineapple Sage and as soon as I am ready to harvest these, I’m planning to make my own herbal teas. Along with these new annuals that I have planted, tender shoots of my perennial herbs are coming up – lavender, mint, chives, thyme, marjoram and oregano! The smells of these herbs always inspire me to cook and try out new recipes. Over the past two weeks, I experimented with mint and curry leaves but today’s experiment was a savory pie with marjoram, thyme, oregano and fresh colorful veggies – it looks beautiful and tastes equally good! Try this one indeed – it is yummy enough to be served in the snobbiest of french restaurants 🙂
For the dough –
1. One cup of all-purpose flour
2. One stick of butter (it is crucial to bring this butter down to room temperature)
3. A teaspoon of salt
4. A teaspoon of baking powder
5. 2 tablespoons of ice cold water
For the filling:
1. A few springs of fresh marjoram, oregano and thyme (or whatever herbs strike your fancy)
2. 3-4 tablespoons of cream cheese (I used whipped Philadelphia Chive cream cheese)
3. 2 oz of goat cheese
4. 1/3 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
5. One zucchini
6. One Japanese eggplant
7. 4-5 Asparagus shoots
8. 1/3 Sweet red Bell Pepper
9. One sweet potato
10. 1 teaspoon of fresh grated black pepper
11. One tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. To make the dough, mix the flour, salt and baking soda.
2. Place the mixture of flour, salt and baking soda in a food processor and pulse it a couple of times and then add a stick of butter (which should be at room temperature) and again pulse the food processor to make a gravelly dough.
8. In a non-stick pan, pour about ½ tablespoon of olive oil and heat it on medium heat and cook the slices of sweet potatoes for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
9. Cut the zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, sweet bell peppers in any shape that you would like to see on the pie. Also chop the herbs in small pieces (chiffonade).
10. Heat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit.
11. Take the dough ball out of the oven and place it on a clean cutting board and roll it out using a rolling pin in the shape of your pie dish (preferable non-stick metal pie dish) – if needed, use some dry flour to keep the dough from sticking to the cutting board.
12. Place the rolled out dough gently onto the pie dish and if it gets any tears, repair those with your fingers.
13. Smear the cream cheese all over the pie dough and then sprinkle the chopped up herbs and crumble the goat cheese over the herbs (try to distribute it evenly over the pie).
15. Arrange the veggies in concentric circles on top of the grated cheese in any pattern that you would like. Sprinkle the remaining olive oil over the veggies and also the freshly grated black pepper.
16. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust seems done (it should feel slightly crisp and flaky).
17. Take the pie out of the oven and let it cool for 5-6 minutes and then slice with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
18. Serve the pie while it is still warm. Enjoy !!!