BIG SUR PIE TIME! Every year, legendary homesteader Heather Lanier hosts an epic pie contest and all the beautiful and talented citizens of the Sur come to claim a prize! At this time last year I was on a serious candida cleanse after refusing to take a slew of drugs and steroids to battle my terrible allergies. I knew that the cause of my asthma and serious sneezing bouts that would have me going through a whole box of kleenex in half sleep through the night and leave me foggy eyed and crusty nosed were all due to a yeast overgrowth in my gut that had a grip on my immune system. So I went sugar free to the Nth degree. I are nothing that would ever have any sugar in it processed or even metabolized. No beets, potatoes, grains ( other than quinoa ) fruits, vinegars, sauerkraut, or corn and once I started I felt like I was on a new path for life! My energy sky rocketed and I felt my body using all the energy I put into it as food. I was healing and it cleared my allergies pretty much immediately but any slip would have me spiraling back. I was devout to this ritual and many of my recipes are inspired by this regiment and are a seriously nutritious rich way of eating any time! Check out my in-depth story on Candida coming soon! For now lets get into this pie that won me the "Most unusual combination" prize.
The Savory pie is a combination of layered deliciousness that combines roasted vegetables, fresh pesto, and a wild mushroom quinoa pilaf with tahini into a roasted nut crust! Heres how you build the beast!
Roasted Veggies: 3 small zucchini, two small onions, two handfuls medium sized dry farmed tomatoes, rosemary, salt and olive oil.
Pesto: One bunch Basil, One Bunch Parley, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, salt
Roasted Nuts Crust: 1 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup flax seeds.
Quinoa Pilaf: One cup cooked quinoa, Tahini, dried pocini or portabella mushrooms ( from your wild harvest or the store. If you buy them fresh sauté them in butter or oil before adding them to the quinoa ) 1 bunch chard, 1 onion.
TIP: get used to using a lot of oil. Good fats are healthy fats. I always use Organic Olive oil, Coconut oil or butter. Fats are king and so yummy! I also personally have low blood pressure and used to supper from dizzy spells until I started to use lots of salt in my diet coupled with drinking more water. This combination literally boosts your blood pressure so if thats not your jam, be act accordingly.
STEP 1: Slice zucchini, tomato and onion and place into large tray making sure the veggie are making contact with the pan, this will ensure the caramelization of the veggies. Salt generously and drizzle with olive oil. Roast vegetables on a baking sheet for 45 minutes to an hour in a 350 degree oven without moving them. Let them crisp. *I like to do this regularly its my favorite go to side dish.
STEP 2: Soak your mushrooms first, they can even be soaked over night.
Roast walnuts in cast iron pan until golden and lightly browned.
Step 3: Grind roasted nuts in food-processor
Step 4: press nut mixture into 8x8 baking dish with drizzles of marinated mushroom juice or oil, I put my crust into the oven so solidify. In this case the flax seeds expanded then bonded to create a sturdy crust!
Step 5: In a food processor combine basil leaves and parley leaves until full, stack on a hand full of walnuts and add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt and one garlic glove, blend until pasty. If the leaves are refusing to get chopped down add a squeeze of lemon juice. Once the mixture has turned into a paste you can add more leaves for a few rounds. Taste it! Does it need more salt? Is it runny? You may need more nuts or basil. Keep playing until its mouthwateringly good. Experimentation is the best way to cultivate creativity and knowledge of ingredients in the kitchen!
Step 6: Spread a thick layer of your pesto inside. :)
Step 7: Quinoa Pilaf: sauté 1 onion, mushrooms and chard in a pan until tender and add the quinoa. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and Tahini, salt and pepper to taste.
Step 8: Layer pie with Pilaf, pesto and veggies. Serve and enjoy!