This warming vegetarian pie is a treat for all the family
As a gardener, it’s easy to get itchy fingers in the colder months – there just doesn’t seem to be much to do! I find a good remedy for this is to give myself permission to step back, take a rest and relax. Cold, dark evenings make staying at home seem much more appealing than in the summertime – and cooking a simple but satisfying meal for friends or family can bring that cosy hygge feeling right inside.
This homity pie recipe is a hearty, savoury, cheesy delight that takes humble seasonal leeks, potatoes and cheese and lets them sing. It’s like a warming hug in meal form, and kids enjoy it just as much as the adults! I love to serve mine with a crisp winter slaw of red cabbage and grated carrot, or a spicy dressed rocket salad. Wholemeal pastry adds a really good nutty flavour and crisp texture, and this simple recipe for home-made pastry is pretty much foolproof. Give it a try!
You will need:
- 600g of floury potatoes like Maris Piper, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 large leeks, cleaned and thickly sliced
- 200g chopped fresh spinach
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 5tbsp soft cheese
- 150g grated mature cheddar
- Large knob of butter for frying
- Optional seasonings: nutmeg, thyme or rosemary
For the pastry:
- 100g plain flour
- 100g wholemeal flour
- 100g cubed butter, chilled
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg (beaten well)
Let’s get started! (Serves 4)
- First, the pastry. Combine the flours, salt and cubed butter, and whizz in your food processor until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Gradually add the egg, continuing to whizz until a dough is formed (add a small amount of cold water to help the mixture come together if needed).
- Roll your pastry out on a floured surface into a circle large enough to line a 20cm loose bottomed tin. Place in the fridge to chill.
- Preheat your oven to 190c (gas 5).
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan and soften the leeks and garlic until fragrant and traslucent.
- Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until totally wilted.
- Stir through the soft cheese.
- Tip the cooked leeks, spinach and well-drained potatoes into a large bowl, and add 3/4 of the cheddar. Add salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste and stir together well.
- Spoon the mixture into the pastry case, sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and bubbling on top.
- Let the pie cool for ten minutes before turning out and serving. The pie will keep until the next day and is just as delicious chilled.