Monday, 21 March 2016

Meat Free Monday Squash & Goat's Cheese Pot Pie

Another recipe to try if you are participating in Meat Free Monday that fits perfectly into the comfort food bracket that is often so needed after that first day back at work after a good weekend.

The filling is a combination of butternut squash, goat's cheese, red pepper, leek and ricotta with a smidge of garlic. In the interest of saving some calories, it's a pot-pie, or one with only a pastry lid rather than casing, the pastry in question - puff, my favourite for any pie.

This is an unctuous, satisfying pie recipe that is gorgeous without any addition of meat. Served with a portion of green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, green beans or kale makes for a gorgeous meal. 

As well as Meat Free Monday, this is a great alternative or vegetarian dish if catering for non meat-eaters.

Meat Free Monday Squash & Goat's Cheese Pot Pie

Here's how:
  • 100g soft Goat's Cheese (I used a Lidl version) 
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 leek
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 125g ricotta
  • Pinch salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (I used a Lidl version here) 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

First pop the oven on to about 190 degrees.

Place the butternut squash in the oven for 25 minutes while you prepare everything else.

Now slice the leek and mince the garlic and add to a pan with the coconut oil on a low heat to soften.

Cut the pepper into small, equal-sized pieces and add to the pan.

After a few minutes, add the ricotta, the salt and pepper and the thyme too. Stir and allow cook for five minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Cut or crumble the goat's cheese and place into the pie filling and mix a little to distribute evenly.

Once the squash has had 25 minutes remove from the oven and cut in half, lengthways. It will be piping hot so, if you're not in a rush leave for ten minutes to cool. Meanwhile turn the oven down to 170.

Remove the bulk of flesh and cut into equal cubes and add to the pan with the pie filling. Don't worry if the squash still needs a little more cooking - it has that to come in the pie. 

Squash & Goat's Cheese Pot Pie filling

Transfer the filling to your choice of pie dish.

Now open the pastry and place over the top of the dish, cutting away the excess. Use your thumb to crimp the edges - my pies always look quite rustic and I think this obvious homemade-ness adds to their charm.

If you wish, use the excess pastry to make a garnish - as I have here cutting the words 'Meat Free Pie' onto the top.

Now beat an egg and brush the pie all over, including the garnish. Finally cut three holes into the topping to allow steam to escape and avoid soggy pastry.

Now place the pie into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden brown.

Serve with your choice of green vegetables. Enjoy!

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