Posts Tagged With: pie

Welsh Leek, Feta and Herb Pie



A fine pie with influence from Jerusalem (via the Caernarfon Library) and our local hero’s; the mighty leek (a symbol of Wales-ness and great taste), our neighbour’s eggs and the humble spud.  My friend Mandy also makes a pie not to dissimilar to this one, so its a tasty mix of all these things and more!  Surely with all that input, this pie can only be amazing!

We have been getting a few leeks out of the garden, but these are proper Welsh farm leeks (the home of the mighty leek, spiritual at least).  Great leeks are a good place to start most dishes, but especially pies.  I like to put leeks centre stage, they deserve it and should not be wasted in a stock pot.


Legend would have it that St David (the patron saint of Wales) had the Welsh army wear leeks on their helmets to differentiate themselves from some pesky Saxon invaders.  The impact of this fashion accessory stuck and it is still worn on March 1st, St Davids day.


Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking style also makes an appearance here.  He is a real food superstar, most things he touches come to life with flavour and texture. I popped down to Caernarfon Library and picked up a few books, one of them being Yotam’s ‘Jerusalem‘, a fascinating place and a fascinating book. Brilliantly written and photographed, the dishes seem intrinsic to the melting pot of Jerusalem, with its many cultures in one little place. I particularly liked the ‘Herb Pie‘ recipe and immediately went about corrupting it to suit my cupboards and fridge. This little pie popped up and we’re glad it did. It is full of YUM, gorgeous richness of cheese, herbs, sweet leeks and onion

Lovely local spuds, getting golden

Lovely local spuds, getting golden

I was half asleep at the shop yesterday and bought puff pastry instead of filo, I think filo would have been better, but the puff sufficed!  I would like to think one day I will make my own puff pastry and my own filo pastry, I would also like to think one day I’ll play guitar like Neil Young and write poetry like T.S. Elliot.  Stranger things have happened!!!!!

Mandy puts Goats Cheese in her ‘Leek and Walnut Pie’, but I prefer the tang of the feta here that stands up nicely to the other flavours and has the perfect crumbly texture for this filling.

Really get your leeks, onions, potatoes etc nice and golden and sweet, this will make a great contrast with the lemon, olive and feta.  Expect a multi-cultural party in your mouth here!


You can really go crazy with the cheese here and Yotam put three cheeses into his pie (he seems to put three cheeses into alot of things).  Obviously we are working on a different level to Yotam and felt that one was more than enough, with a couple of blobs of good creamy Greek yoghurt to add a creamier feel.


I find the easiest way is to cut off the very tops of the green leaves and check for any dodgy looking wilted leaves.  Then chop the leek, discarding the root end and loosing the hard outer leaves, you’ll be able to feel what I mean when you do it.  Then place in standing cold water and give them a good wash.  Sieve out and double check that no grit or dirt remains.

Cleaning and chopping a leek this way allows you to get the most out of the green bit, which is packed with flavour and all to often shown the bin.


Radio Tarifa Tagine

Murcian Sweet Potato and Manchengo Burger

Kumato, Piquillo, Butter Bean and Coriander Salad

This is the tastiest pie I’ve ever made, try it!

Welsh Leek, Feta and Herb Pie

Welsh Leek, Feta and Herb Pie

Makes one large pie, a dish approx. 8″ by 10″ or there abouts.  Enough for four.

The Bits

8 new potatoes (cut into small cubes), 2 large leeks, 1 red onion, 5 mushrooms (most varieties will be fine), 2 sticks celery, 2 handfuls spinach leaves, 10 pitted green olives, 3 large cloves garlic. All finely chopped.

Pie filling, looking good

Pie filling, looking good already

75g fresh dill (1 1/2 teas dried dill), 75g fresh mint (1 1/2 teas dried mint), 2 free range eggs, 150g good Greek feta, 2 tbs thick creamy yoghurt, 1 lemon zest, 1 teas honey, sea salt and plenty of cracked black pepper

1 pack of puff pastry (one roll or however you buy it).   1 tbs oil (for brushing)

Leeks, softening

Welsh Leeks, softening

Do It

Get some colour on your potatoes, in a large frying pan, add 1 tbs of your cooking oil (your choice here!) and fry off your potatoes for 10 minutes, getting some nice golden brown tints. Set aside.

The filling getting together

The filling getting together

In the same pan, add 2 teas more oil and get your onions softened, 3 minutes cooking, then add your leeks, celery, mushrooms, garlic, cook for a further 3 minutes until all is getting soft.

Then add your olives, spinach and cooked potatoes and then all your filling bits.  Stir in and warm through for 10 minutes on a low heat.  Cover and cool, now sort the pastry.

Pre-heat fan oven to 180oC

Roll out your pastry sheet to fit your pie dish, we just used a pastry lid, but you may like to add a base.  We are not huge fans of loads of pastry in a pie, the more filling the better!

Place your warm filling in the dish and spread evenly, then throw on your pie lid (delicately!) and brush the pie dish edges with oil.  Now press down around the edges with gentle force, sealing the pie.  I used my thumb, you may like to use a fork.  Trim off any excess pastry and make three slices in the centre of the pastry to release cooking steam.  Now give the pie a loving brush with some olive oil and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

The pastry should be nicely golden and the pie filling steaming hot.

Welsh Leek, Feta and Herb Pie

Welsh Leek, Feta and Herb Pie


With a steamed green vegetables or a nice green leaf salad with a light, sweet dressing.  The pie has a lovely lemon-ness that will go nicely with a honey/ sweet dressing.  Its a heavy pie, flavour and texture, so keep the accompaniments light.

We Love It!

We  really do you know.  Love It!  Especially this pie, which had us both ‘Mmmmming’ in unison at its sheer deliciousness and flavour combinations.   Not your average pie and all the better for it.

Foodie Fact

Leeks are alliums, basically tall thin onions with a green head of leaves, they are used all over the world and don’t just feature in Welsh pies!  Leeks contain many vital vitamins and allicin that actually reduces cholesterol, they also contain high levels of vitamin A.


Categories: Dinner, Recipes, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Layered Filo Pie with Sweet Potato, Puy Lentils and Cashew Cream Filling

Layered Filo Pie with Sweet Potato, Puy Lentils and Cashew Cream

Layered Filo Pie with Sweet Potato, Puy Lentils and Cashew Cream

After a long walk with Mum and a ride on the Ffestiniog Highland Train it was time for a pie, but not just any old pie though.  A wonderful day demands wonderful pie and this one has been on my mind ever since I read the recipe.

This layered filo pie will suit any special occasions and satisfy all loved ones, especially those who are still skeptical about the whole vegan approach.  Get on board, try this pie, eat more nut cheese!  The cashew cream is the real star here, adding bags of creaminess and that ‘something a bit different’ that I love in any recipe.  This is not our first play with cashews and it also makes a very respectable cheese, although denser in texture, cashew cheese would also make a great layer for this kind of pie.

The inspiration for this magic pie came from the brilliant Becky over at Veg Hot Pot, a blog for anybody who likes tasty food cooked with heart and soul.  Becky is attracted to big flavours and gorgeous looking food.  Cheers Becks!

We have of course tampered with the original and added some of our favourite bits (we’ve just made one with lime zest, smoked paprika and a spinach layer…..but we digress……)  We have added roast peppers and sweet potato instead of the delicious sounding roast carrots, we have used sage to flavour the sweet potatoes, because I love that little combo of green ‘erb and funky orange spud.  There is also a tablespoon of tomato paste in the puy lentils, this is a rich tart and the tomato lifts things a little.

I love giving meat eaters a run for their money in the flavour stakes, this meets and beats any meaty creation in Christendom (it is Easter after all!).  The look of the pie will make jaws drop; cook it for an Uncle who has gravy on his corn flakes or that boyfriend who cannot omit meat from any plate of food.  I’d love to hear the response from that crew?!  Let me know….

The filo adds a nice crunch here, its a great thin pastry for making a guaranteed crisp pie base.  I very rarely buy pastry, but this is a no-brainer.  Filo sits there quite happily until called upon.

Mum’s comment after pie for dinner tonight whilst holding her belly:

‘Blimey Lee, I feel like I’ve had a pie!’

This pie is magical in so many ways, mainly because of its versatility.  You can play around with the flavours and layers and the potential combinations are mind boggling.

Recipe makes two individual pies, more than enough for two good folk.  If you are eating the pie with vegetables, half a pie is more than enough per person.

Layered Filo Pie

Layered Filo Pie

The Bits

1 big sweet potato (cubed)

2 fat cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 red pepper (cut into thick flattish slices)

1 onion, (finely diced)

2 small leeks (finely chopped)

1 cup soaked cashew nuts (overnight)

4 sheets of filo pastry

1 teas dried sage

250g puy lentils

glugs of vegetable oil for frying.

Do It

Turn on your fan oven, 200oC.

Sort out your lentils, either cook them or open the can.  Cooked fresh is of course best (follow pack instructions).  Normally cover with an inch of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 mins.  They should be completely soft, but not mushy.  At this stage stir in your tomato paste and heat through.

Toss your sweet pots in oil and sage and roast for 15 minutes, until soft and slightly golden.  Remove and cover.  Leave for 10 minutes then mash.  Whilst that is going on, add your peppers to the oven and roast for 10-15 mins until becoming slightly charred.

Rinse your cashew nuts and place in a food processor with half a cup of water and a pinch of salt and blitz for 5 minutes until creamy and thick, the texture of hummus is good.

In a frying pan, add a tablespoon of oil and begin to fry your onions off on a medium heat.  Get them nice and golden, we’re looking for nice sweetness here, then add your leeks and garlic, cook for a further 10 minutes on a low/ medium heat.  All should be very soft indeed.  Then add you cashew cream and stir well together.

All layer ingredients can be made well in advance and refrigerated.

Take two small ovenproof dishes, or pie dishes approx 5 inch diameter by 2 inch deep. Oil them up ready for action.

Use filo straight from the fridge and brush oil over each layer, use three layers for each base.  Spoon in your layers starting with sweet potato, then peppers layed out, then lentils and finally the cashew cream mix.  Make sure all layers are pressed snugly into the corners of the pie, giving a distinct layered look and good full shape to the pie.

Pop them in the oven and check after 10 minutes, the pastry may get a little dark.  If so, place tin foil over the pies.

Cook for 25-35 minutes, until the bases are nicely golden and crisp.

Lovely layers

Lovely layers


Leave to rest for a couple of minutes in the dish then pop out onto a wire  rack to cool and settle for 5 minutes.  Then mange!  We had ours with a tomato chutney and it was a tasty feast.

We Love It!

This is a rich tart and very nicely segregated, it looks a million dollars!  The cashew cream works fantastically well, it browns a little and gives a fantastic creamy texture.  Who needs cheese!

Foodie Fact

Cashews are not devoid of calories, but we’d be a sorry state without enough fuel!  Some people I’ve met on raw food diets etc have warned me off cashew nuts, but in a world riddled with vices and food fads, I hardly think the odd cashew nut will push me over the calorific edge.  A roasted cashew is a thing of beauty and grows on trees.  They also contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and a hefty dollop of fibre.

Categories: Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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