Are you trying to find a vegan option for your Easter festivities (or celebration-related gatherings of any kind)? Taste this vibrant, flavorful pie that’s loaded with spring vegetables.
Using different veggies, such as cooked and slightly crushed peas or steamed and chopped spinach (sneaking more leafy greens into your diet is highly beneficial health-wise), you can easily change the filling to suit the season.
Jersey Royal Pie Paved the Way for this Pie
Spring is a time of the year when the veggie rainbow pie is prepped the most. That’s the reason why we mentioned Easter for trying this dish. Why spring? Because that’s when the British-beloved Jersey Royal potato grows. The pie we chose to be the topic today was originally made with Jersey Royal potatoes – a staple of the culinary arts and a need on every kitchen table in the UK. Every year, from April to July, this indispensable ingredient and ideal all-rounder is available. A particular variety of potato with a Protected Designation of Origin that’s grown in an island country and self-governing British Crown Dependency near the coast of north-west France called the Bailiwick of Jersey is marketed under the name Jersey Royal. Usually grown as a new (baby) potato with a nutty flavor, it’s of the International Kidney variety.
Hugh de la Haye, a farmer in Jersey, planted two potatoes in 1878, which is when the Jersey Royal got its start. The bulk of the crop was round when he harvested them the following spring, but one was kidney-shaped and went by the moniker Jersey Royal Fluke. Later on, this potato was dubbed the Jersey Royal because it still had the distinctive kidney bean shape.
The rainbow pie with vegetables was initially (and still is) called Jersey Royal pie in Great Britain. It basically doesn’t matter what veggies you include in the recipe. Best advice: Use different vegetables for the pie’s layering depending on what’s in season. As mentioned, instead of the original recipe, try cooked and roughly crushed peas, or steamed and chopped spinach, squeezed of excess liquid and seasoned with a little nutmeg.
With the British public’s recent enthusiasm for experimenting with recipes and home cooking, the rainbow pie is expected to star on every kitchen table in spring. But why wait for spring? Use baby potatoes and veggies that are available in supermarkets and marketplaces to make this pie.
Vegan Rainbow Pie
Below is general information about the dish that’s vegan and ideal for special occasions – a rainbow pie packed with spring veggies. If you cover your vegan needs with meal options from the menu of Dinnerly or similar meal kit service you subscribed to, that’s fine, but you’ll feel satisfied if you make by yourself something that belongs to such a type of diet.
- Preparation time: 1 hour
- Cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Course: Main course
- Cuisine: British
- Servings: 8
- Calories: 370kcal
- Baking sheet
- 20cm cake tin with a loose bottom
Ingredients for the pie:
- Baby potatoes (or Jersey Royals if you’re lucky), 500 g, sliced to a thickness of a coin
- Butternut squash, 500 g, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
- Olive oil, 4 tbsp
- Chili flakes, a pinch
- Vegan stock, 300 ml
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- Filo pastry, 250 g, defrosted if frozen
- Dry semolina (or polenta), 1 tbsp
- Beetroot (not in vinegar), 225 g, ready-cooked and sliced to a thickness of a coin
- Asparagus, 400 g, sliced lengthways
- Roasted red peppers, 300 g, drained
- Basil leaves, 20
- Mint leaves, 20
- Sumac (optional), 1/2 tsp
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Ingredients for the salsa verde:
- Flat leaf parsley, 25 g, chopped
- Chives, 15 g, snipped
- Capers, 1 tbsp, roughly chopped
- Gherkin, 1, diced
- Garlic, 1 clove, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Olive oil, 6 tbsp
- Salad leaves (to serve)
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (gas mark 7) or 200°C for the fan.
- Put the butternut squash and one tablespoon of olive oil on a lined baking tray. Add some salt, pepper, and chili flakes, then toss to combine. Roast until soft and starting to turn char, about 30 minutes. If you aren’t baking the pie just yet, turn the oven down to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6 or turn it off.
- Heat the stock until it boils. When the potatoes are just cooked, add them, cover them, and let them simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. After draining any extra stock, pat the potatoes dry with kitchen paper. Distribute the lemon zest on top.
- Apply a small amount of oil to a 20cm deep cake tin with a loose bottom. While working, cover your filo pastry with a sheet of oil. Carefully press the sheet into the tin, pressing it up against the base and sides. To cover the pie, you’ll need to overlap them and leave an overhang at the top. Set aside one filo sheet.
- After scattering the semolina or polenta over the base, start layering the vegetables, gently pressing each layer down to create a level surface, and close up any air spaces. As you go, add a little salt and pepper for seasoning. Add the mint and basil leaves last. Make sure the pie is covered by folding the overhanging filo sheets on top, then brush with oil. At this point, the pie can be covered and chilled for the night.
- Before baking, carefully remove the pie from the tin and transfer it to a baking tray that has been lined. After lightly scrunching and brushing it with oil, place the remaining filo sheet over the pie. Sprinkle on some sumac, then bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. If it becomes overly brown, you might have to cover the top.
- While the pie is cooking, mix the salsa verde ingredients. As needed, taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Along with the salsa verde, serve the pie with a few fresh greens.
Use different vegetables for the pie’s layering depending on what’s in season. Try 500g of finely chopped, steamed spinach that has been squeezed of extra liquid and seasoned with a pinch of nutmeg; or 500g of cooked, coarsely ground peas.