My second foray into the Meatless Monday campaign (check out last week’s recipe here) affords me the opportunity to discuss three things I am currently very excited about: whole wheat filo pastry, vegetable-packed pies and smoked halloumi. All in one recipe!
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have already got the message about whole wheat filo pastry. It is my new favourite pastry, one which is fantastic for wrapping hearty, savoury fillings in light, whole grain goodness.
You may also have seen my recent post for a vegetable-packed, courgette and spinach pie. No mere sprinkly garnish of vegetables here. Instead, at least two full portions of vegetables in every slice - great for a quick, healthy breakfast on the go, an enviable packed lunch or a summer dinner with a nice side dish. All this while being extremely appetising and very moreish.
Today’s dish is another interpretation of that recipe, to show you the variety of interesting vegetables preparations and combinations that can be crammed into one, delicious, nutritious, life-affirming pie.
The aubergines and the mushrooms are long-cooked until well browned – the colour you sear onto the vegetables adding new, complex layers of flavour. This concept has been one of the things that has revolutionised my vegetarian cooking. The benefits of browning on meat is often discussed, but the advantage of cooking vegetables in a similar fashion – individually – until they have each reached their flavour potential, is less popular. Probably because it takes longer.
In this vein, each of the components of this pie recipe is prepared separately, until it is as delicious as it can possibly be, before being combined into one glorious, unified whole.
To make the time pass more quickly while I’m bulk sautéing, as is called for in this recipe, I like to have something else to do – fiddling with my blog, writing e-mails, etc. etc. This kind of sautéing takes a good while, doesn’t need constant attention and isn’t very exciting to look at. No need to stand over that! Multi-task! It’s worth it.
These yummy vegetables are finally seasoned with lemon juice and zest, chipotle chilli, garlic, spring onions and the wonderful smoked halloumi – prepared with my own fair hands using my cold-smoker (read how to do this for yourself here).
Lightly sweet, lemony, smoky, spicy and umami…
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