Sausage, Cauliflower and Kale Potpie

Sausage, Cauliflower and Kale Pot Pie

Twice a year our wonderful friend, Kathi, comes to San Francisco for work.  The best news is, she’s coming to work with me.  Because she has a very busy schedule and since our visits require a fair amount of bureaucratic hooping-jumping, it’s necessary to plan her trips well in advance.  While this makes us particularly effective in the professional capacity (if I do say so myself), it also allows us to carefully plot a week’s worth of culinary decadence — both in the kitchen as well as in the never-ending smorgasbord of San Francisco restaurants.  We spend months gathering recipes.

On this trip, Kathi shared this amazing potpie recipe she’d found on Real Simple.  We made a few adjustments in an effort to avoid the constant threat of elastic waistbands and the result was delicious.  We served the potpie with sides of extremely labor-intensive, but very tasty, fava beans and a new ingredient: leek flowers.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sausage (we used basil chicken sausage, though next time, and believe me, there will be a next time, we’ll opt for the hot italian turkey variety)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 10 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, each cut into 4 rectangles


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl.
  2. Add the onions, rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the kale, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the kale mixture and cauliflower to the sausage and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish and top with the puff pastry, overlapping the rectangles slightly.
  4. Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Fava Beans

Sautéed Fava Beans

We used 3 pounds of fava beans, which, when shucked and boiled and shocked and peeled comes out to a much smaller quantity.  We sautéed them with olive oil, red onion, fresh sage and fresh mint.  As in the previous post about fava beans, we await the exact proportions from Brian.  I’ll start nagging him.

Leek Flowers

Sautéed Leek Flowers

I’d never met a leek flower before we went to the Alemeny Famers Market on Saturday.  They’re just what they sound like: the upper stem and flower bud from a leek plant.  When you try them raw, they have a hot, oniony taste, but once sautéed , they transform into an earthy asparagus flavor.  Very tasty.

  • 2 bunches of leek flowers chopped diagonally into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan until shimmering
  2. Add leek flowers and sauté until tender (about 8 minutes)
  3. Season with salt and pepper.