food to glow

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This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.

This is a commissioned post.

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.Today’s two vegetarian recipes are extra special ones. Not because of what they are particularly – although shatteringly crisp phyllo pastry surrounding creamy wild mushrooms, wild rice, and sauteed chard is, I’ll admit, one of my new favourite flavour and texture mash ups. These holiday recipes are extra special because they are shared. Between not only me and Andrew, but with everyone staying overnight on Christmas Eve.

Whilst sporting festive headgear (reindeer horns, Santa hats, flashing headbands – ie nothing tasteful) it is our tradition to trip over each other in my small kitchen prepping for Christmas Day, then share a lingered-over vegetarian supper as Santa makes his way to Scotland. 🙂

Most years I come up with something different, but even if not it will be a recipe that has been elevated, as befits a gathering with one’s nearest and dearest. In past years I have made this pie and this savoury cake. In fact, three of the latter are being made by Pete, one of our clinical psychologists, for our Christmas work’s night in tomorrow. A few other of my recipes are being made by staff, including this celeriac remoulade, my festive slaw (this post includes 15 healthy holiday eating tips!) and a raw, non-boozy version of my port-poached pears, endive and blue cheese salad. I love that instead of going out for our Christmas party, we eat homemade dishes at a long, beautifully decorated table in candlelight. And get silly with games and races. 🙂

The Food To Glow Christmas Day itself features locally-raised turkey (organic, free range) as the only meat, and a greengrocer’s shopfront of vegetables. But it is so nice to share my love of seasonally inspired, properly vegetarian food with the wider family. So our tradition, I guess, is to be a bit untraditional. 

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.I am fortunate that I am cooking for people I know well, and who are very relaxed about not quite knowing what to expect on the menu. We are also a very small family (my own family live in the US) so cooking for Christmas, while extra jolly – and Champagne-fuelled – is less fraught than for a dinner party. The timings are loose, and stretched out with presents, games and smoked salmon blini. In other words, low stress. But I do cook a lot for work, and single-handedly for around 16-24 people. So, although I’m not an expert on hosting, I do feel I may have some advice for any of you cooking for larger crowds this Christmas.

I’ll share a few of my tips next time, but meantime I am pleased to let you know that some of my Christmas cooking tips are being featured in this week’s Waitrose Weekend. From today (December 8th) you can pick up a copy at any of their stores and see an interview with yours truly as part of their #HomeforChristmas campaign, celebrating those who help bring us together at Christmas.

Within the pages of this weekly, free (!) paper, I am hugely honoured to be featured as one of “Britain’s brightest food stars”, alongside John Whaite (GGBO 2012 winner & TV chef/presenter) and awesome food writers Ren Behan (debut modern Polish recipes cookbook from her next year), Karen Burns Booth (traditional British food + 5:2 diet), and Lucy Parissi (stunning photography is her signature).

Whether you opt for fancy rainbow carrots or plump for everyday orange ones, painted in roasted garlic-tahini drizzle this dish is holiday-table ready.My own Home for Christmas interview will (hopefully!) cover my vegetable-centric upbringing and southern traditions, and how I’ve brought them to my own table to share with my British family. I was really nervous and babbled a bit, but I’m trusting that the editor made sense of it all!

One thing that does make sense is viewing this heart-tugging video from Waitrose about a tenacious and brave robin making its way home. I hope that none of you have to weather (quite literally) this little chap’s epic journey to reach his loved one. I’ve viewed it over 10 times. Goosebumps every time!

I’m back on Sunday with an easy, seasonal but very special soup (including some fab horseradish and truffle toast, if you fancy), and those promised tips for feeding a large gathering. Until then, keep well and glowing. xx

PS Don’t forget to grab your copy of Waitrose Weekend before next Thursday!

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.

Creamy Wild Mushroom, Greens & Grain Phyllo Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Print

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day table. Easily vegan.

To get ahead, make up the filling and refrigerate for up to two days.

3 tbsp olive oil, divided use

2 leeks, trimmed, washed of grit, halved lengthways and sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

500g mixed mushrooms – wild (such as chanterelle, pied de mouton and porcini; shiitake is nice too but may not be the taste you want) and cultivated, cut in different sizes (slices, halved); OR chestnuts mushrooms plus handful of rehydrated porcini mushrooms

2 tsp soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari sauce (optional, but really amps the savouriness without tasting of soy sauce)

2 ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, divided use

300g chard, chopped OR 500g spinach

250g cooked wild and basmati rice (I cook a mix from Waitose, but ready-to-eat pouches are available)

150g crème fraiche (reduced fat okay) or vegan cream

2 tsp vegetable stock powder or ½ crumbled stock cube

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

6 phyllo pastry sheets

50g butter, ghee, vegan butter or culinary coconut oil (odourless), divided use (optional)

30g finely chopped walnuts (optional)

1 tsp runny honey (optional)

1 tbsp dried barberries or chopped dried cranberries (optional)

20g butter, for brushing the top

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet or pan and sauté the leeks until softened, then add the garlic and 2 tbsp thyme leaves, and cook for a further three minutes. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.

3. Add 1 tbsp to the skillet and sauté the mushrooms until they release their liquid; cook this off and add the soy sauce. Cook a further minute and then scrape into the bowl.

4. Now for the chard or spinach. Heat the final tablespoon of oil over medium-low and sauté the chard or spinach. Drain off excess liquid and scrape into the bowl. You could also steam these instead of sautéing.

5. In a jug, mix together the crème fraiche or vegan cream, vegetable stock powder and whole grain mustard. Add this and the rice to the bowl, mixing all well. At this point you can pop this in a sealed container and refrigerate up to two days.

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.6. For the optional baklava crunch layer, melt 50g of butter or coconut oil in a small pan, add the honey, walnuts, barberries/cranberries and remaining thyme leaves.Melt the 25g butter separately.

7. To assemble, line a cast iron skillet with the phyllo pastry, staggering the placement of the sheets to create jagged angles. Pile in the filling. Draw over the overhanging pastry, leaving the centre open. Lift the top layer away from the filling and brush or daub on the buttery savoury baklava filling, if using. Fold back over. Brush with the extra butter.

8. This is where it might seem strange, and a tip I learned from Anna Jones, whose own skillet phyllo recipe inspired this one. Place the skillet on the hob/stovetop and on low-medium, heat the pie for eight minutes, lifting gently with a spatula to check it isn’t burning. Adjust the heat as needed. This will help the phyllo bottom get a head start.

9. Now bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, covering lightly with foil if needed.

1-. Serve warm in generous wedges with loads of colourful vegetables, rainbow carrots and flower sprouts with roasted garlic-tahini drizzle (recipe below), and homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is mandatory!

Kalette and Rainbow Carrots with Toasted Garlic-Tahini Sauce

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Whether you opt for fancy rainbow carrots or plump for everyday orange ones, painted in roasted garlic-tahini drizzle this dish is holiday-table ready.

Whether you opt for fancy rainbow carrots or plump for everyday orange ones, painted in roasted garlic-tahini drizzle this dish is holiday-table ready.

1 head garlic, papery outer skin peeled away

1 tbsp olive oil, divided use

400g orange or rainbow carrots

200g kalette/flower sprouts, washed and lightly dried in a tea towel

3 tbsp light tahini paste

2 tsp good honey

1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice

3 tbsp warm water

Salt to taste

Arils/seeds from one small pomegranate

20cm square of baking parchment, to roast the garlic

Whether you opt for fancy rainbow carrots or plump for everyday orange ones, painted in roasted garlic-tahini drizzle this dish is holiday-table ready.Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Slice off the top quarter of the garlic bulb, lay the bulb in the centre of the parchment paper square, and drizzle over one teaspoon of olive oil, daubing all exposed edges. Draw up the edges for the paper to form a parcel, securing with twine or a metal paper clip. Place on a baking tray or dish and roast for 45 minutes. When roasted, cool slightly and pinch three cloves from the bulb and squeeze from the skin into a small jug. Wrap up the remaining cloves and store for another use.

3. While the garlic is roasting, trim the carrots and slice into quarter lengths. Toss the carrots in the remaining oil and add to the “garlic tray” for the final 20 minutes.

4. Add a bit of salt to the garlic cloves and beat well with a fork, until creamy. Spoon the tahini into the jug, along with the honey and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the warm water until it is evenly mixed and light. Set aside.Whether you opt for fancy rainbow carrots or plump for everyday orange ones, painted in roasted garlic-tahini drizzle this dish is holiday-table ready.

5. Steam the kalette/flower sprouts for five minutes.

6. To assemble, lay the carrots and flower sprouts on a platter and spoon over the roasted garlic-tahini drizzle and scatter with pomegranates arils.

*This is a paid, commissioned recipe in collaboration with Waitrose. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to continue creating and sharing recipes on food to glow.*

24 thoughts on “Creamy Wild Mushroom Skillet Phyllo Pie + Kalette & Carrots with Roasted Garlic-Tahini Sauce

  1. Absolutely stunning recipes Kellie and I have no doubt that your feature in Waitrose Weekend will be wonderful, too. Can’t wait to pick up a copy.

    1. And I can’t wait to see your Waitrose Weekend recipes, Ren. And to get your cookbook!!

  2. All so lovely sounding and lucky lucky readers of Waitrose Weekend to get a share of your lovely chat and recipes. Wonderful and so utterly well deserved to be featured with all the big guys (you are the big guy don’t you know!) 🙂

    1. I am having an “I’m not worthy” moment (and cringing about the interview itself), but you know that’s my default response to most things! I am hugely flattered to be among this little gang.

      1. You are crazy and brilliant all at once x

  3. Hi, I love the look of this recipe but I don’t have a cast-iron skillet. Can I cook the phyllo pie any other way?

    1. Of course! Pop it in a baking tin and straight in the oven (not on hob first). 🙂

      1. I did wonder that. Thanks. And thanks for all your lovely recipe ideas x

  4. Gorgeous recipes and such great news, I’m so happy you are getting the attention you deserve xx

    1. Aw thank you Elaine. I really appreciate your support xx

  5. efwalt says:

    I dont think your tradition is untraditional at all. It totally embodies what Christmas is all about and i think thats something truly special in this materialistic world. My other half is veggie and we will be staying in this New Years and cooking a 3 course meal to celebrate not only the start of 2017 but our 12 year anniversary. This looks like the perfect recipe for us to celebrate with. I adore the crunch of a phyllo pie and cant imagine anything better. Great recipe!

    1. Thank you, Emma for your thoughtful words. And yes, the crunch (with that juicy filling!) is pretty good. Btw, our anniversary is also NYE – 28 years. Yep, we are quite old. Have a happy Christmas and anniversary. 🙂

  6. YUM! I love a good pie. Love that this one’s partly open on top so you get a little peek of what’s inside 🙂 Perfect for Christmas day!

    1. I know – a peek-a-boo pie!

  7. lucyparissi says:

    I love the phyllo pie – sounds like just the thing to serve my vegetarian friends who will be spending NYE with us. Such lovely flavours and textures! And of course anything with tahini gets my vote – I was raised on the stuff! Thanks for the sweet mention too – you are too lovely 😉

    1. I’m so glad you like the look/sound of it all, Lucy. It would be fab for NYE for sure. I will be in Florida by then visiting family so it may just be cool enough to make this for them. May. 🙂

  8. choclette says:

    Kellie, you are one of Britain’s brightest food stars, so very well deserved. What a wonderful Christmas Eve feast. The pie looks really special, but I’m in love with the sound of your toasted garlic tahini sauce.

  9. This looks right up my street Kellie, I’m bookmarking this to roll out over the festive season as it looks magnificent!!! Huge congrats for being featured in Waitrose Weekend – richly deserved as your blog is such an inspiration and oh-so-beautiful 🙂 Have a wonderful Christmas lady xxxx

  10. kathrynlouises says:

    Kellie, better late than never, right?! 😉 Big hug and congrats on your feature in Waitrose Weekend!!! How lucky are the readers who are learning about you for the first time through this feature. And this video. Heart. Melting. Lovely recipes too. The phyllo pie reminds me a little of your carrot and tallegio tarte tatin which I love.

  11. Kavey says:

    Congrats for being featured in Waitrose Weekend, that’s brilliant. No surprise though, given your wonderful recipes and beautiful images. I loooove mushrooms so much, so I know I’d love this. When can I come for dinner?

  12. doubledacres says:

    Can’t wait to try your recipes. Congratulations for being featured in Waitrose Weekend.

  13. Looks absolutely incredible. Wow. What an inspiration.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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