Wild Alchemist’s Pie With Seasonal Squash Mash
You might have noticed the new superstar of our autumn/winter menu that is the WIld Alchemist Pie. The version that we serve at Wild Food Cafe is finished off with a generous dollop of sweet potato mash and served with probiotic kimchi and kale chips which is hard to beat. If you haven’t tried it yet – it is a must. (we pretty much sell out every single day!)
The success of the alchemist’s pie got us creative with this humble traditional dish at home…. and led us to make an even more succulent, nutrient-packed version fit for Thanksgiving and Christmas + your detox at the same time. If you’ve been following us for a while, you must know our long-lived love for best quality, seasonal and nutrient-packed plant ingredients in the combos that are innovative and, most importantly delicious.
This time we are playing with squash mash – (ahem, move over cauli mash, as much as we love you) which is – whoah! – a perfect ingredient for a mash!! Not only does it tastes amazing, but it’s also less starchy and ‘international’ than sweet potato and ….. maybe a bit less internal-gas-producing than cauliflower (just joking:) it is literally, the easiest way to process often a very hardy vegetable that is squash! (I mean, who wants to spend minutes of their lives practicing their knife skills on a rock-hard pumpkin/squash?)
Besides the magic and wonder of the squash mash which will go on top of our alchemist’s pie, we’ve got to mention a few other select ingredients that make this dish nothing short of alchemical.
1. Chestnuts: one of the most nourishing, warming and calming local foods in winter months.
2. Seaweed: remineralising & replenishing your body in winter, getting that vital force in and giving it an extra dimension of flavour and texture
3. Sprouted lentils/ beans: what? Do we cook sprouted beans? We won’t go into too much detail about this method in this blog (be welcome to attend one of our courses if you’d like to learn more) But basically, we find that gently cooking the sprouts make them A LOT easier to digest and assimilate while making your overall dish way more nutrient-rich than using a can of beans (you can use those too!).
4. Savoy cabbage: perfect winter dark green that comes with all the health effects of other brassicas, such as kale + more!
We trust you are as inspired as we are 🙂
Now onto the recipe itself.
For the squash mash
- 1 medium-sized squash (we used the bright orange variety)
- A couple of sticks of fresh thyme
- 1 TBLS of coconut oil
- 1 TBLS of apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 level tsp of unprocessed sea salt (to taste)
- pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
- 5-6 caper berries (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 clove of garlic
For the alchemist pie filling
(use whatever base veggies you have in the fridge)
- 1 TBLS of coconut oil for cooking (can use sunflower oil/ghee instead)
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 leek
- 1 red pepper
- 2 – 3 strands of celery
- a handful of dry arame
- 2-3 TBLS of tamari (optional)
- juice of 1 big lemon
- pinch of unprocessed sea salt
- 4-6 leaves of savoy cabbage (finely shredded)
- 120g of fresh lentil/bean sprouts
- 1/2 inch of fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp of powder)
- 3-4 TBLS of chestnut paste (or, even better, a large handful of whole cooked chestnuts
- 3-4 leaves of fresh sage (chopped)
- 5-6 leaves of fresh rosemary
Start by cutting the squash in half and steaming it in a steamer or in a pot with just enough water to cover the bottom and a lid on for about 10 mins or until soft. You don’t need to remove the seeds or the skin at this point.
In the meantime, preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium heat, add coconut oil, chop the onion and leek as fine as possible, mince the garlic and turmeric and saute for a minute. In the meantime, finely chop and add red pepper, celery, dried arame, and fresh herbs to the pan. Stir regularly. Add tamari. Finely shred the savoy cabbage and add it to the mix. Add lemon juice, salt to taste, and stir for a minute. Take the skillet off the heat and mix in the sprouts. Cover the skillet with the lid and let it sit off the heat while you prep the squash mash.
For the mash, scoop out the seeds, check if the skin is soft, and good to use (in most cases it will be, so enjoy using the whole vegetable in your dish). Place in a food processor with a clove of garlic, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and coriander. Whizz until smooth, adjust the taste according to your preferences. I like adding a few caper berries and blending them in.
Finally, take a pie tray, fill 2/3 with a pie mix you made earlier, cover it with a squash mash and stick it in the oven 180C for 15-20 minutes or until the top has browned a little.
With Celebration & Appreciation,
Aiste & Joel