Veggie spiral pie with spiced tomato sauce & chopped salad
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus chilling
- A challenge
- Serves 8 - 10
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 2 onions , halved and thinly sliced
- 100g green lentils
- 300g basmati rice
- 4 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1 nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp allspice
- 400g spinach
- small bunch dill , finely chopped
- small bunch parsley , finely chopped
- small bunch mint , finely chopped
- zest 2 lemon , plus juice of 1
- 200g pack feta (check pack label to find a vegetarian brand), crumbled
- 2 x 270g packs filo pastry (12 sheets in total)
- 100g butter , melted
- 1 egg , beaten
- 1 tsp black sesame seed (or regular sesame seeds)
- Greek yogurt , to serve
For the tomato sauce
For the salad
- STEP 1
Heat a large saucepan, tip in the cumin and coriander seeds and toast for a few mins until you can smell their fragrance and they turn a shade darker, then tip into a pestle and mortar. Add the oil to the pan, then tip in the onions and cook slowly until golden and caramelised – this will take 15-20 mins. Meanwhile, bring 2 pans of water to the boil. Add the lentils to 1 pan and cook for 20 mins. Put the rice and a pinch of salt in the other pan and cook for 5 mins (it should still have a little bite). Drain both pans, and leave the lentils and rice to steam-dry.
- STEP 2
Boil the kettle. Stir the garlic into the onions and cook for 1-2 mins over a low heat. Grind the whole spices in the pestle and mortar to a fine powder and add these to the onion mixture. Grate half of the nutmeg and add to the onions with the turmeric and allspice.
- STEP 3
Put the spinach in a colander in the sink, pour over a kettle of boiling water, then rinse under cold water. Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Finely chop the spinach and add to the onions with the herbs, lemon zest and juice and the rice, lentils and plenty of seasoning. Leave to cool before stirring through the feta.
- STEP 4
To assemble the pie, you’ll need plenty of space on your work surface – about 1 metre. Unwrap the filo and cover with a damp tea towel. Have your bowls of melted butter and beaten egg to hand, as well as a pastry brush for each. Working quickly, lay 4 sheets of filo end to end, running along the length of your work surface, and butter each piece generously, overlapping each sheet by about 10cm. Top with another 4 sheets, butter well, then repeat with 3 final sheets of filo (save the last one to cover any cracks later on.)
- STEP 5
Spoon the rice filling down the centre of the filo, leaving 5cm free on either end. Brush the egg around the edges and tuck the ends in to cover the filling. Starting from one end, roll the filo over the filling, working your way along until you have a long filo sausage. From one end, start to coil the sausage back on itself – if the pastry cracks, patch it over the hole with your reserved piece of filo. When the coil is complete, slide onto a tray lined with baking parchment, brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. You can now cover it loosely with cling film and chill for up to 24 hrs.
- STEP 6
When you’re ready to bake, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the pie on the middle shelf and bake for 45 mins until golden and crisp. Meanwhile, tip the ingredients for the tomato sauce into a pan, season and bubble for 30 mins until rich and thick.
- STEP 7
For the salad, halve the cucumber through the centre, then cut in half lengthways and chop into small cubes. Put in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and season well. Set aside until ready to serve.
- STEP 8
Leave the pie to cool for 20 mins before serving with the sauce, salad and a large bowl of yogurt.