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Who needs a pork pie when you could have a pretty little curly kale pesto pie instead? Not me!! I know, picnic season seems such a long way off, but I love serving picnic-style finger-food when we have friends for lunch, even in the depths of winter. I made these before realising that it's British Pie Week too, a happy coincidence!
You may not have guessed that the ingredients for these pies are almost all from the freezer cabinet - yes, even the curly kale and parsley. I was challenged by Iceland to create a recipe from their range of frozen ingredients for their #PowerOfFrozen campaign, and took a trip to my nearest store, which I hadn't visited before.
I must admit to being surprised and impressed as I rummaged around - I wasn't expecting to find curly kale, chopped chilli, garlic & herbs, bulgur wheat with lemon & mint, sweet potato mash, sliced peppers, mushroom risotto, asparagus spears, creamy spiced lentils, and so much more. Their frozen 'bake at home' bread is seriously good, and I'm still trying to resist the temptation of their frozen breakfast patisseries.
Our freezer is groaning under the weight of my discoveries, and its so good to know there are always handy standbys in the cupboard for those just-back-from-holiday empty-fridge emergencies.
There are a whole host of reasons why frozen ingredients are a great idea.... extra nutrients as they are frozen quickly after picking, lower price for higher quality, less waste, guaranteed provenance, convenience, choice and many more. Iceland's new Power of Frozen website gives a huge amount of interesting info - hop over for a look.
You can use shop-bought shortcrust pastry for these pies, or if you want to have a go at making your own with all sorts of delicious flavour variations, take a look at my Vegan Pastry recipe.
For more picnic food, how about trying my Vegan Cheese & Onion Pasties?
Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies
- 500 g shortcrust pastry
- 1 large potato peeled and cut into 1cm dice
- 200 g cauliflower florets frozen or fresh
- 75 g curly kale
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- 75 g almonds or pine nuts
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 75 ml dairy-free milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Boil the potato chunks for 5 minutes in a large saucepan. Add the cauliflower florets and diced onions, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until both potatoes and cauliflower are just cooked through. Drain and set aside.
- Add the curly kale to a blender or food processor along with the garlic, almonds, olive oil, lemon and parsley, and blitz until finely chopped. (For this recipe I prefer my pesto just 'chopped' rather than a smooth sauce, but the consistency is up to you). Add the soya/nut milk and pulse until combined.
- Take a large bowl and add the potato and cauliflower, breaking up the cauliflower florets into small-ish chunks. Pour over the kale pesto and mix together until fully combined.
- Grease a 12-hole muffin tin, (I use cooking spray for this). On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a £1 coin, and cut out 12 large circles to line each hole of the muffin tin. Re-roll the offcuts, and cut out 12 smaller circles which will form the lids.
- Fill each case with the potato and cauliflower mixture, (pack it in really tightly, it won't expand or leak during cooking!), and then brush the edges of each lid with a little water and stick down to the rim of the pies, crimping with a fork to create a good seal. Make four little holes in a cross pattern on the lid of each pie with a sharp knife.
- Brush the lids of each pie with plant milk, then spray with cooking spray (if you have some handy). Bake for 35-40 minutes until deeply golden brown on top. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove the pies carefully. These can be served either hot or cold.
For more vegetarian Iceland #PowerofFrozen recipes, take a look at:
- Jacqueline's Creamy Mushroom & Potato Dauphinoise from Tinned Tomatoes
- Kate's Spaghetti with Kale, Asparagus, Chilli & Lemon from Veggie Desserts
- Kellie's Moroccan Kale, Carrot and Hummus Tart from Food to Glow
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Iceland. There was no expectation of a positive review, all opinions are my own.