Oh my, sweet potato pie

Next week is national Pie Week. Only in the UK would you have a week dedicated to celebrating the wonder that are pies!

We’ve really done our research on pies this week and have discovered that pies date all the way back to the Roman period. Originally the pastry was used to store the meat, or whatever other filling was inside, similar to how we’d use a pot nowadays. The pastry, which was fairly inedible back then, would be used to hold the meal together whilst it was cooked. It was only over time that the pastry could be included in the meal too.

Below is a great pie recipe that incorporates many of the ingredients from this weeks boxes:

Chicken, leek and mushroom pie with cauliflower mash topping


For the pie filling:
1 tsp ghee
2 leeks, trimmed, sliced
2 large celery stalks, trimmed, diced
1 bay leaf
500ml hot chicken stock
4 carrots, sliced
1 small fennel bulb, outer leaves removed
250g mushrooms, sliced
600g cooked chicken
large handful chopped parsley
salt and pepper
For the pie topping:
1.2kg cauliflower, outer leaves removed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
50g butter
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
2. Heat the ghee in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the celery and bay leaf and increase the heat to high. Fry for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil, then add the carrots, fennel and mushrooms and reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Continue to simmer the mixture until the volume of liquid has reduced and thickened, and the vegetables are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, for the topping, put the cauliflower, garlic cloves and half of the butter in a large, lidded saucepan. Add 4 tablespoons of water and cover.
5. Bring the pan contents to a simmer over a medium heat and steam for 6-8 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife (add a splash more water during cooking if necessary). Remove from the heat and transfer the contents to a food processor. Blend to your consistency of choice – either smooth and creamy or roughly textured. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To finish the pie filling, remove the bay leaf and add the remaining filling ingredients to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well, then transfer the mixture to an ovenproof pie dish.
7. Spoon the pie topping over the filling and spread into an even layer using a palette knife. Use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on top of the filling. Dot the top of the pie with the remaining butter.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden-brown.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Lancs
Cauliflower, Lancs
Flower Sprouts, Lincs
Kale, Perry Court
Winter Pulsane, Perry Court
Leeks, Cambs

Medium & Large Boxes
Mushrooms, Suffolk
Wild Garlic, Kent
Kohl Rabi, Lancs

Large Boxes
Beetroot, Lancs

Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Pears, Kent (Medium & Large Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Large Boxes)

Blood Orange Valentine Pancakes

It’s lucky Friday 13th this week but we’ve also got Valentine’s Day on Saturday and Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Tuesday to look forwards to next Tuesday, before y’all go on a diet abstaining from dairy, eggs and butter for Lent (yeah right!)

So how about making some pancakes topped off with blood orange syrup for a Valentine’s Day brunch – after all a candlelit dinner is so clichéd and overrated right? Or try this version of pancakes with Greek yoghurt and poppyseed (optional) – fluffy, rich and high protein with the use of yoghurt but no oil or butter! Or try an alternative with cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.

A few rashes of bacon makes the perfect compliment…making them far more American and fluffy than the kind you will go tossing as part of the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race on Dray Walk Gallery at Old Truman Brewery off Brick Lane on Tuesday 12:30pm.

These truly seasonal blood oranges only appear around this time of the year so make the most of them as you won’t be seeing them for awhile when the season is over. Beautiful and delicious additional to a beetroot and orange salad. Add some toasted walnuts and/or goats cheese, and also some mixed spice or ground cinnamon to the dressing.

And for those of you with beetroot in your boxes, check out our past “Need some aphrodisiac? Try beetroot!” article – perfect to get you going for some Valentine’s Day romance!

Flower sprouts also make a premiere this week – these are a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale. Even if you are no great fan of Brussels sprouts you will almost certainly love these. Try them stir-fried on their own with garlic and soy sauce, but they are also perfect in any stir-fry combination. Check out the flower sprouts website for lots more cooking and recipe ideas!

Now, on what to do with the vegetables in your box here are a few ideas from our past newsletters/blog posts and few fresh ones too:

  • Celeriac – Check out our past Rooting for Roots write-up. Try celeriac potato mash (great for sneaking vegetables in on the kids) or the classic French remoulade, or simply cut into chunks and roast for about 40 mins along with your carrots to go with your Sunday roast! Or how about a celeriac, potato and rosemary gratin (works with creme fraiche and stock instead of milk and double cream) also, or Jamie Oliver’s cheesy thick-cut version
  • Beetroot – Lots of suggestions in our New Year post and also our Beetroot and Feta Couscous photos. Our frog friends from across the stream (where they eat a lot more of them) also recommend cubing or slicing them into a salad then dressing with French vinaigerette (oil, vinegar and mustard)
  • Harlequin Squash – Enjoy reading about these little jokers in our Harlequin-in-the-Box write-up
  • Turnips – Not as common here as across the river (but remember they don’t know what they are missing out with parsnips), our frog friends recommends adding these to stews as you would other root vegetables. Also perfect for a winter vegetable soup with chorizo and puy lentils

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Bakers Potatoes, UK
* Onions, Norfolk
* Flower Sprouts, Lancs
* Tundra Cabbage, Lancs
* Harlequin Squash, Cambs
Carrots, Lincs
Celeriac, Lancs
Turnip, Perry Court

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Beetroot, Lincs

Fruit Supplement
Pears, Kent (standard only)
Blood Oranges, Spain