Layered Filo Pie with Roast Cauliflower Mash & Carrot Purée
This is the whole vegan hog … The layered technique can be used with any combination of ingredients your mind can conjure up - the filo pastry works as the perfect light crust for a whole host of puréed perfection. However, try not to use so many flavours it makes your tastebuds malfunction, which means you taste very little and the individual ingredients merge into one. You will need some small deep individual pie dishes here, the spring type with a trapdoor-like base. I can eat a whole pie, but most people only manage half. I have cooked these pies in deep bowls, but it is harder to get them out in one piece and you don’t get to see all the lovely layers. Potato can be used instead of cauliflower for the mash, but I like the lightness that the cauliflower brings.
|5||cloves of garlic, unpeeled|
|1||onion, roughly chopped|
|1||small cauliflower, roughly chopped|
|1½ tsp||sea salt|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|75ml||almond milk or soya milk|
|1 tsp||lemon zest|
|2 tbsp||chopped parsley|
|3||large carrots, scrubbed and chopped|
|¼ tsp||freshly ground nutmeg|
|2 tsp||nutritional yeast flakes|
|6||sheets of filo pastry|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|For the topping:|
|1||large red pepper, deseeded and finely diced|
|2||cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed|
|1 tsp||fennel seeds|
|2||handfuls of black olives, de-stoned and roughly chopped|
|2 tbsp||fine capers, well drained (if large, roughly chopped)|
|2 tsp||lemon juice|
|½ tsp||black pepper|
|4 tbsp||roasted almonds, roughly chopped|
|a large pinch||of sea salt (if needed)|
|1 tbsp||olive oil|
You will need two small (20cm wide, 10cm deep) circular pie dishes - the spring type, with a trapdoor-like base.
Pre-heat the oven to 220 C / gas mark 7. Put the garlic, onion and cauliflower on to a baking tray, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt and toss in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then check that the garlic is soft and remove it. Turn the onion and cauliflower over and put them back into the oven for 10-15 minutes more. All should be nicely cooked and slightly caramelized. Once they have cooled slightly, push the garlic out of the skins and put into a blender with the onions, cauliflower, almond milk, lemon zest and parsley. Blitz until creamy, then check the seasoning, cover and set aside.
Toss the carrots in 1 teaspoon olive oil and pop on a baking tray, cover with baking parchment or foil and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until they are soft. Place in the blender with the nutmeg and yeast flakes and pulse a few times, leaving some chunks. Cover and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, lay 1 sheet of filo pastry, making sure to handle it gently. Brush well with olive oil, lay on another sheet, brush with oil once more, layer and brush. That's 3 sheets of filo per pie. Lay the filo over a small (20cm wide, 10cm deep) circular pie dish, press in and ease gently with your fingers, right down into the corners. Repeat the process with the other pie dish. Reduce the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.
Your fillings should be cooled, but still warm. Using a spoon, form a good layer of carrot purée in each pie, again pressing it into the edges to form a nice distinct layer. Top with your cauliflower mash until it is 1cm below the rim of the pie dish. Trim the square edges of the filo, but leave a good 4cm overlap. The idea is that it gathers around the pie and looks vaguely like a flower with filo petals. Brush the pies gently with olive oil and place in the oven. Bake on the middle shelf for 15 minutes, checking that the filo is not cooking too quickly. Cover with foil if this happens.
Now, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the peppers and sauté for 2 minutes, then pop in the olives, capers, lemon juice, peppers and almonds. Check if it is salty enough (the capers normally do the business). Cover and warm through on a low heat for ten minutes. Set aside.
Serve the warm pies with a good layer of the peppers and almonds as a topping. Best with steamed greens of your choice. Pat on the back. Big well done and enjoy the fruits of your artistry.