Asian-Inspired Leek Pies

Asian-Inspired Leek Pies

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These leek pies were supposed to imitate Greek herb pies but I twisted the whole thing with adding some Asian flavors to the dish and ended up making a comforting vegan meal.

I love Greek food and especially their pies, filled with spinach and aromatic herbs of all kinds (hortopita, in Greek). But not only that, I actually love making them with other vegetables as well. Sometimes I add some Feta cheese to it, other times I don’t. But I always make sure to brush those filo pastry sheets with enough olive oil to make them crispy, crunchy and full of deliciousness.

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After eating all those bushes of Swiss chard and putting them in everything, from smoothies to pasta, I needed a change and decided to return leeks in our kitchen. And these pies were just a perfect opportunity for them.

Although leeks are very versatile, they do need a little something to bring up their taste. One of my favorite leek-combo is a creamy soup with chickpeas and potatoes (I think I picked it up from Jamie Oliver a while ago). But this time I spontaneously went with something completely different: coconut milk, ginger and sesame.

Asian-twist on my Greek pies was a success, so I am sharing a recipe with you, hoping you will like it as much as we do.

ASIA-INSPIRED LEEK PIES {vegan}

Prep time: 15min Cook time: 35 min Total time: 50 min

  • serves 6 triangle-shaped pies

Ingredients:

1 lbs leek

good lug of olive oil (for cooking)

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk*

1 piece fresh ginger, approx. 1 inch long (makes 1 Tbsp finely chopped)

salt and pepper to taste

3 largesheets of filo pastry**

1/4 cup olive oil (for brushing filo pastry)

6 Tbsp white sesame seeds (for sprinkle)

Serving suggestion

2 cups cooked beluga lentils

avocado dip***

 

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Method:

  1. Start with washing leeks. Trim ends, then half them lengthwise and wash under running water. Slice them thinly crosswise, then place in a bowl and cover in water.
  2. While leeks are soaking, get your equipment and rest of the ingredients ready. Also, if you will be serving pies with lentils and avocado dip, as suggested, you may now put lentils on the stove top.
  3. After 10 minutes, take the leeks out, discard the water (and dirt that may fall on the bottom of the bowl), and place them back in the bowl, ready for use.
  4. Using a heavy bottom pan, warm a good lug of olive oil and add leeks. Salt them a pinch and sautée for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Now add ginger and coconut milk and cook everything on low flame for another 5 minutes. Set a side to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375F (180C).
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a side.
  8. On a flat surface, take out the pastry, cutting one by one across the width so you have the base for 6 triangles (see notes**).
  9. Assemble each triangle like this: Brush the base with some olive oil, fill it with 2-3 Tbsp of leek mixture, pressing it down to flatten it, then roll it up to make a triangle (you can roll them in parcels as well, if you prefer).
  10. Place all triangles on baking sheet, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds and place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top and edges.

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Serving suggestion

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Notes

*Make sure to use a full-fat coconut milk cause the fat content is important for making leeks more creamy.

**This depends on the size of a pastry you are buying. However, if the final size of pies is not important for you, you can make those cuts wider or more narrow. In that case, be careful with the filling. 

***The simplest avocado dip I make, and the same one I served here, is made from blending 1 avocado with juice of 1/2 lemon, a pinch of salt, a lug of olive oil and some fresh ground pepper.

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