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Rosy Roots Holiday Pie

This winter pie is all about embracing our roots! Not our genealogy but those humble, homey tubers that sweeten underground when the temperature dips. Radishes, turnips, potatoes, beets, shallots – they all make splendid and nutritious “roses” for this pie. Beautiful and delicious, it's perfect for the holidays.

All these vegetables are low in fat and loaded with fiber, folate, and cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients. Did you know that sweet potatoes are particularly rich in vitamin A, turnips in calcium, potatoes in potassium, radishes - vitamin C? That is just the tip of the iceberg, nutritionally speaking

Wrapped up in a tasty, tender gluten-free dough and adorned with leaves, this delicious pie is as fun to make as to eat. Pal up with a baking buddy for extra fun in the kitchen, pick up your rolling pins and have at it!

Prep time = 80 minutes Baking time = 25-30 minutes Makes one 9” pie


Standing mixer with vegetable sheet attachment

9 pyrex pie dish

Leaf-shaped cookie cutter


Food processor


Large steamer pot

1” bristle pastry brush



3-4 shallots, microwaved or steamed

6 small beets, various colors

6 small turnips, various colors

6 small potatoes, various colors

6 medium radishes, various colors

1-2 small sweet potatoes, various colors or 1 large juicing carrot, any color

Plant-Based Béchamel

Full ¼ cup white whole wheat flour or a whole grain gluten-free flour

1 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

Pinch of nutmeg, freshly ground

Pinch of white pepper, freshly ground

1 teaspoon shiro (white) miso* or to taste

1 cup unsweetened unflavored almond milk (or other low-fat plant milk)

1 cup mini yellow or orange bell peppers, roasted and blended


⅔ cup chana dal flour (besan) or chickpea flour (available in Indian groceries or online)

⅓ cup mesquite flour (available online)

1 cup buckwheat flour

3 Tablespoons arrowroot

3 Tablespoons freshly ground flaxseed

¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground

1 cup HOT sweet potato pulp, baked or microwaved

* Miso is a good salt alternative that has been found to lower heart rate and not elevate blood pressure as salt does. (,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).


Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C


Using the thick vegetable sheet cutter attachment, cut sheets of all the vegetables except the shallots. Cut them if they are unmanageably lengthy strips. Microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften or steam until they are pliant enough to roll into “roses.” For larger veggies, cut the strips in half lengthwise. It’s attractive to have a variety of size roses; they can range from 1-2 inch in height.

Use toothpicks to close the rolled roses. Steam them until they are very, very tender but still intact – usually about 20-30 minutes.

Peel the shallots. Use toothpicks to hold them together. Microwave for 1 minute or steam until tender.

Plant-Based Béchamel

Core the peppers and roast them in a 350°F/177°C oven for 15-20 minutes until they soften and collapse. Do not burn. Toss in a blender, add a little water, and blend to create a smooth, dense sauce.

Combine the flour, nutritional yeast, pepper, nutmeg, miso, almond milk, and enough of the pepper sauce to color it as you desire (save some however for your glaze) in a high-speed blender. Run on high for 1 minute. Pour the sauce into the saucepan, heat over a medium-low flame, stirring with a whisk.

In a few minutes, the sauce will begin to thicken. Lower heat and cook for a few minutes more. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. For the pie, we need a fairly dense white sauce to bind the root roses and to facilitate slicing. Taste and correct seasonings if you like.


Dilute the pepper sauce with water until it is quite thin and easy to apply with a pastry brush.


Combine dough's dry ingredients in a food processor, pulse to blend. Add sweet potato pulp, still steaming (its heat will help tenderize and moisten the dough). The dough should gather into a very soft and pliant ball. If it is too crumbly or too stiff, add a little more sweet potato pulp or a teaspoon or two of water and reprocess. If it is too wet, add a tablespoon or two of one of the flours and reprocess.

Compose the Pie

Sprinkle a board with mesquite flour, roll out dough, flipping and flouring, to a thickness of 3/16” or

4 mm. Transfer to a 9” pyrex pie dish, trimming the excess dough.

Roll the trimmings a little thinner than before and use your cookie cutter to cut out leaves. Brush the crust with glazing liquid. Brush the back of the leaves and apply them around the rim of the pie dish, pressing lightly to help them adhere.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust firms up and turns lightly golden. Remove from oven.

Spread a thick layer of the béchamel over the base of the dough.

Remove the toothpicks and position your shallot “rosebuds” and root “roses” in the pie dish.

Apply a coat of glaze to the crust and lightly to the tops of the veggies and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the béchamel and crust begin to darken. Do not overbake.

Transfer to a rack and glaze again. The more coats of glaze you apply as it cools, the shinier the pie will become. Wait 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to congeal sufficiently to slice well. Serve warm.

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