Make Ahead

Hippie Pie (with a bow to Mollie Katzen)

October  4, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

When I was in college, we all cooked from The Moosewood Cookbook. It was a given that the excellent Cheese and Cauliflower Pie, which we dubbed "Hippie Pie," would be served at every big gathering. Tasty, easy, and vegetarian friendly, it was a perfect potluck food. Now, many (MANY!) years later, my vegetarian husband asks for this pie as soon as cauliflower appears at the market. I've been fiddling with the original recipe, adding sweet potatoes and spinach, roasting the cauliflower, and using more fresh herbs, but the integral brilliance of this pie is Mollie Katzen's alone. (PS Don't try this with purple cauliflower. NOT pretty.) - MrsWheelbarrow —MrsWheelbarrow

Test Kitchen Notes

MrsWheelbarrow is spot on with her Hippie Pie! I compared hers with the original—I have my original cookbook, circa 1976 and hadn’t revisited it for many years until now. She gives it a flavor boost by adding sweet potato to her potato crust. She ups it further with wilted spinach and parsley and she takes it over the top with cheeses and roasting the cauliflower instead of steaming it. Her changes take the Mollie Katzen classic up a few notches and make for absolutely delicious results. - dymnymo —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Many Potato Crust
  • 1 pound red skinned potatoes
  • 1 pound white sweet potato
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Filling
  • 1 cauliflower - I love to use Cheddar cauliflower, but regular white or Romanecu are also nice
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 ounces fresh spinach
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated fontina
  • 1/2 cup Parmesian
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  1. Many Potato Crust
  2. Grate the potatoes and onion in the food processor or on the largest side of a box grater. Place in a colander and drain for a few minutes.
  3. Beat the eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl and add the potatoes and onions, then mix (with your hands) until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Brush the bottom and sides of a deep dish pie pan with olive oil. Press in the potato mixture forming thick sides and a well into which the vegetables will go.
  5. Roast in a 425 oven for 25 minutes while you prepare the cauliflower.
  1. Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Filling
  2. Core and slice in thick slices the entire head of cauliflower. Place slices on a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with olive oil and generously salt and pepper.
  3. The potato crust's first roasting (25 min) should be over. Slide the cauliflower into the oven with the potato crust. Brush the crust with olive oil and continue roasting for 20 minutes more.
  4. While that cooks, dice the onion, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan, add the diced onion, the marjoram and a generous pinch of salt and grinding of pepper. Slowly cook and caramelize the onions. Set aside.
  5. Wilt the spinach, squeeze out excess moisture, and chop fine, then stir in the parsley. Beat together the eggs and milk. Mix together all the grated cheeses. Set aside.
  6. Remove the crust and cauliflower from the oven. Scatter the chopped spinach across the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the spinach. Stir the cauliflower and onions together and pile half the mixture into the crust. Scatter 1/2 the remaining cheese across the cauliflower mixture. Add the remaining cauliflower, then SLOWLY pour the egg mixture over everything, letting it sneak into all the corners and spaces. Top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Back in the oven (reduce heat to 375°) for 35 minutes. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • sarahdecker
  • kmartinelli
  • fiveandspice
  • Franca
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48 Reviews

boulangere October 31, 2011
When I was in culinary school, Peter Reinhart was my breads instructor. He was actually the reason I chose the school in the first place. At any rate, one night the phone in the kitchen was ringing off the hook. Chef Peter was out of the kitchen, and I was the closest person to the phone. I answered, "Chef Peter's kitchen." a lovely voice asked to speak to him, and finally asked if I could please tell him that Mollie Katzen had called. Well, yes, I could certainly do that. Beautiful job here, MrsW.
Qdrake September 12, 2011
MrsWheelbarrow - what a fantastic makeover of the recipe. I too am glad (and surprised) to see so many "hippie-sisters" (and brothers) out there! I have a suggestion for you.

My all time most treasured cookbook is one I came across while working in my college library -I loved it so much that I "lost" it and paid the library for it. It is Madhur Jaffrey's "World of the East Vegetarian Cooking". It covers vegetarian cooking from all over India and southeast Asia. It was my first intro to cooking marvelous Indian dishes - and yeah the spice lists can be intimidating, but once you realise the true underlying simplicity, you are prepared to forge ahead into the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, one of the most varied and sophisticated in the world. And this is also one of the most enjoyably readable and 70's style beautiful cookbooks out there - illustrated with lovely line drawings and printed on thick lovely paper.

If you EVER get the chance to get this, jump at it. It taught me so much about cooking and spicing, and gave me an adventurous soul where cooking is concerned. Truely a treasure!
MrsWheelbarrow September 13, 2011
Qdrake - I think my mother had that book. I'll have to look through the cookbook shelves when I'm visiting... Thank you for trying the recipe!
renee.twersky January 26, 2013
I bought that book in 1981 on the sale table at the LSU bookstore in Baton Rouge. I still love it and miraculously, it is still in one piece!
sarahdecker July 28, 2011
Terrific recipe and everyone loved it! Can't wait to try different variations... Can't believe I missed this one back "in the day". I too have the original Moosewood Cookbook.
MrsWheelbarrow July 28, 2011
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
kmartinelli May 17, 2011
My husband went to school in Ithaca and anything Moosewoods still brings up fuzzy memories. I have many of their cookbooks but have never tried this recipe - your rendition sounds delicious.
MrsWheelbarrow May 17, 2011
Hope you'll try it!
fiveandspice May 16, 2011
Yay! I just love this recipe. Happy to see it again!
Franca March 28, 2011
I made this last night for supper. All I can say is viva vegetarianism!! We didn't miss meat at all!
MrsWheelbarrow March 28, 2011
I'm so delighted you liked it!
lastnightsdinner October 10, 2010
It won't surprise you that Moosewood was the first cookbook 14-year old then-vegetarian me ever bought for herself. I never made the Cheese and Cauliflower Pie, but your version sounds even better. A future meatless monday dish for sure :)
MrsWheelbarrow October 10, 2010
Not at all surprised it was your 1st cookbook! It's so approachable. Can't wait til you make it - let me know what you think!
MonkeyBusiness October 10, 2010
This was dinner tonight, with some wonderful Napa wine we ordered on our recent one even wanted a's all gone....thank you, Mrs.W, for bringing this back into the repertoire!
MrsWheelbarrow October 10, 2010
You're so welcome!
The M. October 10, 2010
This is one of the first things I ever cooked, in my first off-campus apartment during college.
Thanks for the reminder. I think my my family (including 2 college-age kids) will love it.
MrsWheelbarrow October 10, 2010
It gives me such a kick to see how this recipe has brought back memories.
AntoniaJames October 10, 2010
I love this recipe . . . especially the fresh marjoram, which I suspect is the perfect complement to the fontina! You are a genius with flavors, Mrs. W. I can see making this for dinner with just a simple dark green and autumn fruit/nut salad on the side. Yummmm. ;o)
MrsWheelbarrow October 10, 2010
Thanks, AJ! That's exactly how we enjoy it!
Thorngate October 6, 2010
I have a battered copies of several of the Moosewood cookbooks-and a very battered copy of "More with Less"- Husband and I were food co-op members and vegetarian in grad school in Chapel Hill-made my own bread, gardened, etc. Does anyone remember "The Vegetarian Epicure"?, or my favorite "The Cookbook for Poor Poets"-we did it as much for economic reasons as anything-then we graduated and had children-there went our healthy lifestyle!
SallyCan October 6, 2010
The Vegiterian Epicure's Macaroni & Cheese is the all time best.
Bevi October 6, 2010
I lived and loved The Vegetarian Epicure Books 1 and 2. Some of my all time go-to recipes are from those books, such as banana raita, peaches poached in brandy, french fried mushrooms with paprika sauce, kugel, all sorts of chutneys, soups, and potato dishes. I loved the illustrations, and all of Anna's stories about her food travels all over the world.
luvcookbooks October 7, 2010
I have a copy of "Poor Poets" with a foreword by Louise Bogan, whom I also love (she's a poet). Also love The Vegetarian Epicure, the Tassajara books, the Political Palate books, longing to own a copy of Crescent Dragonwagon's "The Commune Cookbook". Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Joy of Cooking (a band), Jefferson Airplane.
MrsWheelbarrow October 6, 2010
I want a tie-dye apron, Aagersi! BetteIrene, you're not the only one. Bevi, SallyCan, Moosewood is on the used-all-the-time bookshelf in this kitchen. Those baked stuffed potatoes are fantastic. If you're ever in Ithaca, it's worth a stop at the restaurant!
SallyCan October 6, 2010
It's on my "used-all-the-time bookshelf" too, along with Katzen's "Enchanted Broccoli Forest", and the newer, most used "Vegetarian Planet" by Didi Emmons. Maybe you could tie-dye aprons while you're waiting for your jars of goodies to be finished canning!
betteirene October 6, 2010
I really thought I was the only person on this site old enough to know about Moosewood.
You're all sooo funny!
SallyCan October 6, 2010
Yes, Moosewood is definately a cookbook to not forget about, and to keep on using ;)
Bevi October 6, 2010
I am pulling out my Moosewood right now - the good old daze!
aargersi October 5, 2010
This sounds wonderful! Time to put on the tie dye apron (I am not kidding :-) and pop a hippie pie and some brownies in the oven!!
Lizthechef October 5, 2010
But will they be magic brownies ;)
luvcookbooks October 5, 2010
got my first copy of the moosewood cookbook in 1976 from my college roommate. love this recipe and the comments for the memories they inspire. will put it on the short list for my vegetarian son and niece's thanksgiving meal. still make stuffed baked potatoes from the enchanted broccoli forest quite often. kids love them and they freeze well, helped me to ge3t through med school, also.
MrsWheelbarrow October 5, 2010
I had no idea there were so many Moosewood-ers out there. Grateful Dead? Brownies? Oh, the good old days. Thanks for your nice comments!
Kitchen D. November 29, 2018
I'm having so much fun reading your memories as I remember mine ; Vermont college days of Grateful Dead moosewood dishes under winter moons and phish holloween parties at Goddard. You all crack me up. I love Making my now teens tassajara and draw from poor poets and veg epicure... never goes out! The best meal I ever had was at a Hartford dead show made by the HariKrishna. I spent the next five years trying... never found it again. Thanks for sharing the fun loving days! I'm having three hip friend over this weekend and will make this a la Katz cauliflower pie. I know we will love it!!!
thirschfeld October 5, 2010
Oh the Grateful Dead daze. I always look at the Moosewood cookbooks with such fondness. I really like the homey, co-op grocery food in them, the mushroom moussaka, wow. Problem is I can never remember what else I made out of them. LOL
Kayb October 4, 2010
Not certain how I missed Moosewood...perhas because the only thing I was cooking in those days was... err.... brownies..... Must give this a try!