At their best during this time of year, leeks are an often under-appreciated British vegetable. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, sales of British leeks have jumped by over 15 per cent, with cooking from scratch and careful budgeting having become a necessity for so many households, giving leeks a well-deserved place in home kitchens. The ongoing popularity of meat-free and vegan options has also helped fuel the renewed rise in popularity, with leeks working well in a great number of recipes. This leek and mushroom pithivier recipe from plant-based recipe creator Lucy Parker, on behalf of British Leeks, is a refined vegan pie filled with leek, butternut squash, mushrooms, sage and vegan cream – all encased in a dome of vegan puff pastry (ideally a palm oil-free puff pastry).
On this leek and mushroom pithivier recipe, Lucy Parker says: “Delicious this time of year, leeks are the perfect star of any pie, and this elegant pithivier is no exception. Just like the original French dish, two discs of puff pastry enclose the filling, which in this case is a delicious mix of leek, mushroom and butternut squash, along with fragrant herbs; thyme, rosemary and sage. The leeks become sweet, creamy and rich; a wonderful contrast to the light crunch of the puff pastry.
“A pithivier is a grand-looking pie, yet it’s very simple and you can create a pattern in the traditional way, or simply overlap the pastry and pinch with a fork – it’s up to you! To finish, I like to brush melted butter and tamari mix over the pie crust, score with a pattern then place in the fridge to cool for around 5 minutes before placing into the oven.”
Leek and Mushroom Pithivier
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek thinly sliced (including green tips)
- 1 butternut squash cubed
- 1 tsp dried thyme and dried rosemary
- 250 g mushrooms mixed
- 4 sage leaves
- 125 ml vegan cream
- 1 tbsp tamari mixed with 1 tbsp melted vegan butter
- 1 sheet of puff pastry approx. 375g
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7. Roughly dice the butternut into cubes, place on a baking tray, drizzle in olive oil, salt, dried rosemary and thyme, toss to coat, then pop in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the leeks and mushrooms, chop two of the sage leaves then add all to a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, season heavily with salt and pepper and fry for 5 minutes. Once the butternut has cooked, add to the pan with the leeks then add the vegan cream, tossing to ensure everything is coated. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a flat surface. Fold the sheet of pastry in half, then cut a circle shape (this will form the base and the dome on top) place one of the circles on a lined baking tray, then spoon on the filling leaving a 2cm gap around the very edge so you can seal the pie. Once you’ve added the filling to one half, add the other circle of pastry on top and pinch the edges together, you can create a pattern or simply overlap and pinch with a fork.
- Brush the melted butter and tamari mix over the pie crust, score with a pattern then place in the fridge to cool for around 5 minutes (enough time to preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7). Pop in the oven on the middle tray for around 25-30 minutes or until the pastry has turned golden and flakey. Enjoy with gravy or with steamed vegetables.
Further information on British Leeks can be found here.