In my recent review of The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack, I noted one of the signature recipes that caught my attention: Cauliflower, Leek, and Sage Pie. Izy says that from October through April, she wants warm comfort food. Instead of a traditional British Chicken and Leek Pie, she presents this vegetarian option. Cauliflower replaces the chicken, but the leeks are still there, along with celery, carrots and vegetable stock.

That vegetable stock is your chance to make this recipe quite personal. Try making your own stock, not buying it. You can make it extra rich, extra dark, and surely extra flavorful. The scent in your kitchen will bring back childhood memories. And you freeze your stock for months. Make quarts.

This recipe calls for pie dough. Izy has lovely dough recipes in her book, and I encourage you to get your own copy. Or, you can substitute the pie dough of your preference. Something from your grandmother?

Cauliflower, Leek and Sage Pie

Yield: serves 4


  • 1 recipe of your preferred pie dough
  • 1 large cauliflower, outer leaves removed, cut into medium florets (about 1 pound once leaves are removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 sage leaves, finely sliced
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, finely chopped ■
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons miso, any kind
  • 1 ⅓ cups cooked cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the cauliflower in a deep roasting pan or casserole dish (you’ll be baking the pie in this later) and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the sage leaves, and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and keep the oven on.

Cut the leeks in half and rinse under cold running water to remove any dirt, then shake dry. Chop the leeks into short ¾-inch-wide strips.

In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks have softened, 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and stir together.

Mix the miso with about 3 tablespoons of the liquid from the saucepan to thin it out, then pour into the pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Stir in the cannellini beans, then pour the mixture over the roasted cauliflower in the roasting pan or casserole dish.

Cut a piece of nonstick parchment paper a little larger than the size of your roasting pan or casserole dish. Dust the parchment paper lightly with flour and place your pie dough on it, dusting the dough with some flour too. Roll it out so that it’s a little larger than the size of your pan or dish. Lift the parchment paper up and invert it over the pan or dish, then peel the paper off. Cut a few slits in the center of the pie crust so that the steam can escape and bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is dry.

Source: The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack [Mitchell Beazley, 2017]