This easy recipe puts a 21st century twist on a staple of my childhood (and maybe yours?) — what we called the “cheeseburger impossible pie” from the Bisquick box. I don’t remember what made it impossible then (something to do with “impossibly” easy?), but the name conveniently still suits this more environmentally-friendly version, which calls for beef substitutes like Impossible Burger. The addition of winter greens and curry powder create a more nutritious and distinctive flavor that the whole family will still enjoy.
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
- 1 bunch kale, swiss chard, or spicy greens (like mustard greens)
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 lb ground plant-based meat substitute (such as Impossible or Beyond)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces Mexican-style shredded cheese blend
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup milk, plant-based or dairy
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 400F. Use 1 tablespoon of oil to coat the interior of a broiler-safe, oven-to-table 4-5 quart baking dish.
- Clean the greens. Chop the stems from all the greens finely, and chop the leaves roughly. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a skillet, and add the onion and the greens stems. Cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables start to soften and turn translucent. Lower the heat to low, and cook for 25-30 minutes more until the onions are caramelized to a deep golden brown color, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the curry powder and a bit more oil if the pan is very dry. Stir in the greens leaves and cook for 2-3 more minutes to bloom the curry and wilt the greens. Turn out the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool.
While the onions caramelize, make the dough:
- In the small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter, and gently mix the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk together the milk and eggs, then fold them gently into the dry ingredients; it should be a pourable dough a bit thicker than pancake batter. Set aside.
- In the same skillet used to caramelize the onions, brown the plant-based ground meat. As it releases its fat and moisture, scrape up the cooked-on brown bits from the onion and curry powder. When the meat is browned, stir in the salt, then add to the onions and greens. Mix to incorporate well, then transfer everything to the oiled baking dish in an even layer. Spread the dough mixture over the meat and vegetables, then sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Bake about 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted in center of the dough topping comes out clean. Turn the oven to broil, and place the dish under the broiler briefly to brown the top.
This recipe will appear in my forthcoming What’s for Dinner: Plant-rich feasts for any occasion, available for pre-order now. The book is the first volume in an eco-cooking series, meeting the dinner challenge with a set of full-bodied, vegan and vegetarian entrées, plus plant-based starters, sides and desserts, meant to anchor celebratory meals.