Find food for free
April and May are prime time for wild garlic foraging. If you are already in to finding food for free I’m sure you have tried it and made delicious wild garlic pesto.
Try Wild Garlic
If you haven’t tried it i’m sure you will have have smelt it going on woodland walks. It has a really pungent garlicky smell, and it’s abundant in woodland, often growing near bluebells. Luckily for us, there is loads of it up in Yorkshire. It is best gathered before the flowers appear, but all the plant is edible, even the flowers. Don’t mistake it for the poisonous Lily of the Valley which looks similar but is odourless. Wild garlic will always smell, and you can get a good whiff by crushing a leaf in you hand and inhaling.
This recipe is a unique way of using wild garlic in a filo pie, a little like a greek spanakopita, but a vegan version! It’s really quick and easy to do. Enjoy!
For the Pie:
- 1 onion
- 200g spinach or chard
- 150g wild garlic
- 300g firm tofu (smoked works well)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 can artichokes, coarsely chopped
- 100g Tofutti cream cheese (with olives, original or herbs and chives all work well) or Tofutti Sour Supreme
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
- 12 sheets filo pastry
- Sauté the onion in some olive oil until translucent. Add the spinach/chard and the wild garlic, along with 2 tablespoons water. The greens will shrink as it cooks, so if it doesn’t all fit in at first add it a little over time. Cook until wilted and then put to one side.
- In a separate bowl, mash the tofu and stir in the nutritional yeast, tofutti, oregano, lemon juice and nutmeg. Add the artichokes, sunflower seeds and spinach mixture and mix well. Season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 190c and grease a rectangular dish with olive oil. Unwrap the filo pastry. Lay a sheet of filo over the bottom of the pan, and lightly brush or spray with olive oil, and repeat the process until you have 6 sheets in the bottom of the pan. It can be nice to add salt or paprika between each layer of pasty which lifts the flavour.
- Pour the spinach-tofu filling into the dish, spreading it out to completely cover the filo.
- Add the top layer of filo as you did at the beginning, layering up 6 layers and oiling between each one. Make sure the top layer of pastry gets a good even coat of oil.
- If you like you can cut the pie before cooking, as this helps to stop the filo from breaking when you come to serve it. If you want to do this cut in to even pieces with a sharp knife.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Enjoy!
When wild garlic is not in season just use all spinach, and flavour the pie with a 50g bunch of chopped fresh mint or dill.