Cauliflower Hazelnut Hand Pies : Perfect Picnic Prep

This cauliflower hazelnut hand pie is a perfect vegetarian entree to prepare ahead of time for a picnic. If you’ve got a bag of these in your freezer, you’ll be ready for that unexpected, sunny, and carefree day!

roasted cauliflower

Cauliflower is plentiful at the market now. We got a beautiful, reasonably priced bag of it from Persephone Farm last week. I turned the first bit into this interesting soup and still had a lot left over. I love these little hand pies for quick, eat it on the go fare. Paired with hazelnuts from Holmquist, this makes good use of our local ingredients that are ready right now.

Makes 16 4-inch hand pies

Filling: photo 3 (6)

1 pound cauliflower
2 handfuls of whole hazelnuts
1 clove garlic
grated zest from half of a lemon
3 oz. spunky, dry white cheese (I used Beecher’s white cheddar – yum)
olive oil, salt, pepper
2-3 tbls. cream to finish dough


3 3/4 c. AP
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbls. sugar
12 tbls. butter
3/4- 1 c. buttermilk

  1. Wash cauliflower and trim stem. Cut florets into equally-sized pieces. Toss on baking sheet with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 375F for 10 minutes, stirring once during that time.
  2. Add hazelnuts to baking sheet and bake with the cauliflower for 2 more minutes.
  3. Set aside to cool.
  4. To complete filling, you’ll use the food processor. Try this sequence to get everything to the right texture:
    -Add garlic clove and whole nuts. Run until fine. Empty in bowl.
    -Add cheese. Pulse until crumbly.
    -Add cauliflower to cheese. Pulse about 6 more times. Empty into bowl.filling
  5. In the bowl with the cauliflower mixture, add zest, 1 tsp. of salt, and a dash of pepper to filling. Stir.
  6. Using a food processor, prepare the dough. Add the dry ingredients into the bowl. Cut butter into cubes and pulse with dry ingredients until roughly blended. Slowly pour buttermilk through top. Turn this mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Squish together and flatten into disc. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or as long as you like.
  7. Roll dough out thinly. Using a glass (or crumpet ring), cut circles that are about 4 inches. photo 3 (5)
  8. Scoop 1/4 c. filling for each hand pie. (I found it helpful to lay one circle on the measuring cup and flip the filling over onto it.)photo 2 (12)
  9. Place the second circle on top of the filling and pinch around the edge completely.
  10. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.


  • If you’re going to freeze them, underbake by about 5 minutes.
  • When ready to remove from freezer, bake at 375F for a few minutes until brown. Serve at room temperature or warm.

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