Squash, mushroom and kale wreath by Erin Baker of the Natural Cookery School
Restaurant:The Natural Cookery School
Prep / cook time1 hour 45 mins
“Making a plant-based festive meal can be daunting, but with this Squash, Mushroom and Kale Wreath it’s simple! This recipe has been tried and tested at my A Very Vegan Christmas cookery class and has gone down a storm.”
Squash, mushroom & kale wreath
1kg winter squash, butternut
250g brown mushrooms, quartered
bulb of garlic, separated but not peeled
200g cavolo nero or curly kale
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
15-20 thyme sprigs
10-20 sage leaves, plus more for decoration
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp white miso
juice of one lemon
1 packet filo sheets, I like the French ones
3 tbsp olive oil or 75g melted vegan butter for brushing (I like Naturali)
Preheat oven to 200C/180Fan. When oven reaches temperature, place the whole squash in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. This will soften the skin and make it easier to peel and chop. Remove from oven and let cool until it can be handled. In the meantime, quarter or sixth the mushrooms, place in a bowl. Separate the garlic cloves from the bulb, but do not peel, add to the bowl. Roughly chop the sage leaves, add to the bowl.
Strip the stems from the cavolo nero or kale leaves, stack the leaves, roll together and slice into 2 cm strips and place in a separate bowl.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, peel and cut into small chunks, about 3cm big. Add the squash, along with the thyme sprigs to the mushroom and garlic, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Spread out on a large baking tray or two if needed and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and toss with the cavolo nero or kale. Return to oven and cook another 10 minutes until squash is tender.
When the garlic is cool enough to handle, pick out the cloves from the roasting tray remove skin and place in one of the bowls you have already used. Smush with a fork into a puree. Add tahini, miso and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Remove the thyme sprigs from the roasting tray and strip any leaves that have not fallen off. Combine the roasted vegetables with the garlic puree and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more lemon, salt or pepper as needed.
To assemble the pie, melt the vegan butter (if using) or measure olive oil in a bowl to have ready for brushing. Brush the ring mould with vegan butter or olive oil and place sage leaves around in a decorative pattern. Lay a sheet of filo on the counter or a cutting board, brush with vegan butter or olive oil, place another sheet of filo on top, brush with vegan butter or olive oil, repeat until you have 6 sheets layered. Cut in half vertically. Line the ring mould with layers of filo, using each half to cover half of the mould, overlapping slightly, allowing an overhang around the edge and inner centre of the mould.
Distribute the roasted vegetable mixture around the ring mould. Layer and brush the remaining sheets of filo with vegan butter or olive oil and cut in half vertically. Cover the filling with the layered filo using each half to cover half of the filling. Starting with the centre of the ring, carefully fold the overhanging filo pastry to cover. Tuck the edges in neatly to seal. Brush with the remaining olive oil or vegan butter and bake for 30 minutes until golden.
Place a piece of parchment just larger than the pie, and then a baking sheet on top of the pie, and carefully flip over and turn out. If necessary, return the pie to the oven to brown further for 5-10 minutes. To serve, slide the ring off the the parchment , onto a serving plate.
To assemble the wreath, layer three sheets of filo on top of each other, brushing each one with melted vegan butter. Spread half of the roasted vegetable mixture over the top third of the filo, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) border. Roll up the filo, transfer to a large greased baking sheet and shape into a semi-circle.
Repeat this process with three more sheets of filo and the rest of the filling. Tuck the pastry edges of the two semi-circles into each other to form a ring about 28cm (11in) in diameter.
Brush the wreath with melted vegan butter and decorate with sage leaves, then brush them with vegan butter. Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden.
For gluten free use gluten free puff pastry and make into a log instead of a wreath, brush top with vegan milk and decorate with sage leaves.
Erin Baker runs the Natural Cookery School in Nailsworth. The Natural Cookery School’s approach to cooking uses foods that are minimally processed; whole grains, fresh local produce and minimally refined sugars.
Erin creates wonderful takeaway feasts, including Meat-Free Mondays, and offers outdoor catering for events. She also run day and residential cookery courses at the Natural Cookery School.
For more natural recipes like this one, why not take a look at Erin’s book, The Veg Table.
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