Guest Recipe: Sheperdless Pie
A few weeks ago, my beautiful friend Alexandra published her equally beautiful book, Land & Sea. You might know of Alexandra already for many reasons but for me it is her creativity, writing and passion for food that really shines through. Land & Sea is a testament to all three of these things with beautiful recipes created with love. While her book is not dairy or gluten-free, nor does she avoid refined sugar or animal products either, most recipes have options to adapt to suit your own dietary requirements. For example, butter can usually be swapped for coconut oil or brown sugar for coconut sugar, milk for a dairy-free alternative.
Many of the sweeter things include eggs and I am yet to experiment with them to create egg-free versions (although I am desperate to give the Dutch Baby recipe a go after drooling at the picture!). So I thought I would share a delicious vegetarian dish with you from the book that seems perfect for these premature autumnal days. This book really is beautiful and if you are looking for some fresh ideas that step away from the whole 'clean eating' movement and lend more to sustainably sourced, home-made, restaurant creative ideas then I would definitely pick up a copy. And if you give this one a go, make sure you tag @alexandradudly and #mindbodybowl in your creations!
Over to Alexandra!
A firm British favourite, shepherd’s pie is comfort food at its best and this meatfree
version is just as satisfying and full of flavour as the classic. Feel free to use
whatever vegetables are in season and to swap in other herbs. This recipe uses
classic Mediterranean flavours celebrating basil and thyme, but for a more spice rich
one, try my Moroccan pie over the page. I use a creamy cauliflower topping
for my pies as I prefer the lighter taste but you can use good old-fashioned mashed
potato if you prefer.
3 leeks, chopped on the diagonal roughly 1cm in width
olive oil, butter or coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
2 courgettes, thinly sliced
400g tin organic chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
handful of cavalo nero, chopped into 1cm ribbons, or 2 handfuls spinach or kale
4 large plum vine tomatoes, quartered
large bunch of basil
For the topping
2 cauliflower heads, chopped
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp Dijon mustard
sea salt and black pepper
handful of thyme, leaves picked
3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan (optional)
You will need an ovenproof dish roughly 20 x 30cm, or 24cm diameter if using a round dish.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
First, make the topping. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the
cauliflower until soft, 5–8 minutes. Drain and return to the pan before mashing
the cauliflower until it is as smooth as you can get it. I use a stick blender for this
but a simple potato masher is fine. Add the tahini, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
Stir everything together and check the seasoning, adjusting if necessary.
Place the leeks and one knob of butter or oil in a large, deep frying pan over
a medium heat and toss, allowing them to brown a little. Add a few tablespoons
of water to help them soften and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic
and cook for another minute.
Add the courgettes and a little more oil or butter, tossing everything to make sure
the courgettes are coated. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the courgettes are
just beginning to soften. Next, add the tomatoes and thyme leaves. Stir everything
together and allow it to bubble away for about 8 minutes and thicken slightly.
When the vegetables are bubbling nicely, add the cavalo nero or spinach or kale,
plus the tomato quarters and cook for another 2 minutes or so to wilt the cavalo
nero slightly. Taste and season to your liking before stirring through the basil leaves.
Transfer the vegetables to the ovenproof dish. Roughly flatten the surface before
spreading over the cauliflower mash. Sprinkle over a few more thyme leaves and/
or Parmesan, if you wish.
Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the tomato has slightly started to
bubble up the sides and the whole thing is warm right through. Serve warm.
Recipe is from LAND & SEA: Secrets to simple, sustainable, sensational food by Alexandra Dudley, which is published by Orion (Hardback: £25, eBook: £12.99).
Photography by Andrew Burton.