Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook was my first vegetarian cookbook. (If you are a vegetarian-leaning sort of person of a “certain age,” there’s a good chance it was your first, too.) Opening the cover on Moosewood is like taking a step back in time: hand-lettered pages are filled with wonderful, rich, easy-to-prepare vegetarian recipes, wrapping you in a comforting, laid-back-to-your-roots granola sort of vibe.
These Sweet Potato Butternut Samosas are inspired by one of my favorite Moosewood recipes. The most obvious change I made was to magically change the peas (which I hate) to butternut squash (which I love), and the white potatoes to sweet potatoes because I think they go with the butternut better. I also added some curry powder and a shake of nutmeg to boost the butternut squash.
These little pillows of delicious make a great appetizers, or you can make them bigger and serve them as savory hand-pies. Either way, be sure to serve them with some dipping sauces.
(For Food Bloggers Only: Well, of course I did not take these pictures in my powder room because the sun set way too early the day I made them and I haven’t made the investment in good lighting yet. Who does that?!?)
Dough (Mooswood Traditional)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain soy yogurt
Dough (Easy Way. Not Vegan.)
- 2 sheets of Puff Pastry
- 2 sweet potatoes about 5-6 inches each
- 1 cup cubed butternut squash 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- dash freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Cayenne to taste
Moosewood Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup cider or rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3-4 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger chopped
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tsp. mustard seed
I use frozen puff pastry. Really easy, and much faster. And yes, it’s probably not as healthy for you as some options…but it tastes fantastic! However, if you want to be all authentic (or keep it vegan) use the recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook:
Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the yogurt. (If you aren’t worried about it being vegan-worthy, you can use an equal amount of buttermilk instead.) Mix first with a spoon, and then with your hand to form a smooth dough. Add extra flour if you need to keep the dough from being sticky. Knead for about five minutes, then cover while you make the filling.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Put them in a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until potatoes are tender. Drain. Mash very lightly – just break them into pieces. You want them to be very chunky: not a smooth mash.
In a large skillet, saute cubed butternut squash in olive oil until it just begins to soften. Add onion, and stir until squash is tender and onion is very soft.
Add garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, coriander, curry, nutmeg and salt. Stir over medium heat for a minute or two to release the flavors of the spices.
Combine squash mixture with potatoes. Stir in lemon juice. Cool at least 15 minutes before filling pastries.
This is where I completely go off the map. If you want to create authentic looking samosas, Fine Cooking has fantastic instructions for assembling traditional samosas.
I use puff pastry and cut 9 circles from each sheet using the rim of a large glass. Take each little circle and roll it out until it is about 3 1/2 inches across. Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the middle, wet one half of the edge, and fold it over to form a little half-moon.
Press down all around the open edge to seal. Do this 17 more times. Bake at 425° for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Moosewood Dipping Sauce
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Put mint, cilantro, ginger, lime, water, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until it becomes a sauce. (It’s OK if there’s still little leaf bits.) Heat olive oil in skillet. Add mustard seed and fry until you hear popping. Add mustard seed to sauce. This can be served separately, but I like it mixed in with the Dipping Sauce.
Note: I couldn’t find the Moosewood Dipping Sauce recipe in the current (40th Anniversary) edition, and it is delicious, so you’re welcome.
Hint: Spread the leftovers bits of pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar and bake while you assemble the samosas. It will take about 15-20 minutes at 425°.
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