This is an all-vegetable version of shepherd's pie which is traditionally made with potatoes, vegetables and ground meat. For this recipe I substituted cauliflower for potatoes and mushrooms instead of meat. Cauliflower gives this recipe a creamy texture without needing heavy cream or milk.
1 head of cauliflower
16 oz (2 packs) button mushrooms
4-5 oz frozen spinach
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, fine diced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
¼ cup flour
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 sprigs thyme, rosemary
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt, black pepper to taste
- On medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until opaque, then add garlic and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir occasionally to ensure the tomato paste does not burn.
- Slice mushrooms into small pieces and coat with flour, dusting off any excess.
- Turn heat up to medium-high and add mushrooms to the pan along with the springs of thyme and rosemary. Cook until browned and until any water from the mushrooms evaporates, approximately 12 minutes.Add the Worcestershire sauce during this time.
- Add the spinach and cook for another 10 minutes, seasoning liberally with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside until needed. Discard the sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
- Cut cauliflower into florets and steam for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to break apart when pierced with a fork. Mash until smooth and whip in melted butter until the cauliflower has a thick and creamy consistency. Season to taste and mix in ½ cup of cheese. Don’t worry if the mixture is not as smooth as mashed potatoes.
- In a greased casserole dish, layer the mushroom spinach mixture then the mashed cauliflower. Top with remaining cheese and bake in a 375 F preheated oven for 30 minutes. Depending on the desired colour, turn oven to broil for 5 minutes more.