Tag Archives: butternut squash

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Mushroom, Spinach & Butternut Squash Wellington



This is truly delicious! The combination of the sweet squash, the earthy mushrooms, spinach and the pine nuts and the fresh, woody flavours of the parsley all combine beautifully with the strong soya cheese taste. Bite through the crispy, light pastry into the soft, melting centre, with the crunchy pine nuts interspersed – and enjoy!

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Serves 4–6     Preparation time 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling     Cooking time 15 minutes


Light Pastry:

  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour, plus extra as needed
  • 40g/1½oz/heaped ¹⁄₃ cup gram flour
  • 40g/1½oz/scant ¹⁄₃ cup maize flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt, crushed, plus extra to season
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 125g/4½oz chilled dairy-free margarine, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g/1lb 2oz butternut squash, peeled and finely diced
  • 200g/7oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 200g/7oz baby spinach leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large handfuls finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 200g/7oz dairy-free soya cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 1800°C/350°F/Gas 4. To make the filling, put the butternut squash and mushrooms into a large casserole dish and drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over. Cover with a lid, shake the dish a little to spread the oil around and bake for about 50 minutes, until the squash is tender. Carefully drain all of the juice out and leave to one side.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the Light Pastry, put the potato in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat , then turn the heat down to medium and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain immediately, then mash until smooth.
  3. Sift the flours, salt and xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the mashed potato and blend for a few seconds until mixed in. Add the egg and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. There should be a little extra moisture at the base of the bowl. If it is too dry, gradually blend in 1–2 tablespoons chilled water. If too sticky, add a little rice flour.
  4. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the heat, remove the pine nuts and leave to one side.
  6. Wash the spinach thoroughly and put in the frying pan. Cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes until the spinach has wilted, stirring occasionally. Put the spinach into a fine sieve and push all the juice out of the leaves with the back of a spoon. Drain the liquid from the pan and leave the spinach to one side.
  7. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pan and add the onion. Fry for about 3–4 minutes until starting to turn golden, then add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the flat-leaf parsley and fry for about a minute until just wilted. Add the butternut squash, mushrooms, pine nuts and spinach and the soya cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper and mix together gently but thoroughly.
  8. Turn the oven up to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Liberally dust a large chopping board with rice flour and roll out the pastry into a large rectangle about 3mm/1/8in thick, about 30cm/12in x 40cm.16in. Be careful as the pastry will still be slightly sticky. Put a piece of baking parchment about 10cm/4in wider than the pastry over it and hold it in place with one hand. Turn the board over and carefully put the baking parchment, with the pastry on top of it, on the work surface.
  9. Put the filling in the centre of the pastry, making sure you leave about 10cm/4in on each side to fold over the top. Using a sharp knife, cut a square of pastry away from each corner of the pastry. Discard these pieces or use them to decorate the top of the pastry, if you like. Using the baking parchment to keep the pastry together, fold the two long sides of pastry over the filling so that the edges overlap slightly. Carefully smooth the pastry along the seam with your fingers to secure it. Fold the two short ends of the pastry over just to seal the sides, trimming with a sharp knife if they are too long. Smooth the pastry at the seams again. Using a pastry brush, brush all of the egg over the top of the pastry, particularly at the seams and cut 3 slits in the top of the pastry to let the steam out.
  10. Bake for 35–40 minutes until the pastry is a rich, golden brown and serve hot.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Lamb Tagine

This recipe, by award-winning chef and cookery writer Valentina Harris, is taken from the Real Food Cookbook by the Real Food Festival (which showcases the very best produce that has been sustainably- and ethically-produced in the UK). This book is a collection of more than 100 recipes from the brilliant chefs who have taken part at the Festival, including Raymond Blanc, Giorgio Locatelli, Thomasina Miers, Willie Harcourt-Cooze and Cyrus Todiwala, as well as recipes from some of the wonderful artisan producers from the show.

The festival was on this weekend (5–8 May) this year. Sadly I missed it because I was in Barcelona (more of that later…) but it sounds as if it was a huge success again. (It’s a great experience, as well as a fantastic way to discover new producers and products. When I went last year, I came across some lovely gluten-free goodies, for example.) Held at Earls Court, it showcases 500 of the finest artisan food producers plus the Real Food Chef Theatre, with chefs including Giorgio Locatelli, Jason Atherton, Valentine Warner and Silvena Rowe, and the Real Food Cookery School where both children and adults can learn kitchen skills, such as butchery and artisan food workshops. On top of that, there’s the Taste Experience Tent and special talks, demos and tastings. I’m very sad to have missed it this year – but at least there’s the cookbook!

This is a lovely spicy recipe with sweet notes, that’s incredibly easy to make. You can experiment with this basic method, adding more spices or varying the vegetables. This recipe also works well with chicken or fish.

Serves 4     Preparation time 10 minutes, plus soaking the apricots     Cooking time 1 hour 40 minutes

  • 55g/2oz/ 1/3 cup dried apricots, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g/llb 2oz diced leg of lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g/7oz canned tomatoes
  • 300ml/10½fl oz/1¼ cup gluten-free and dairy-free lamb stock
  • a small pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 large courgettes, cut into large pieces
  • 200g/7oz butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned and quartered
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put the apricots in a small bowl and just cover them with boiling water. Leave to soak for an hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole and brown the lamb in batches all over, then lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the chopped onion to the casserole and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Add the garlic and spices and cook them for a further 2 minutes, then return the lamb to the casserole.
  4. Add the apricots and their soaking liquid, the canned tomatoes and the stock. Stir in the saffron and ground almonds and season with sea salt.
  5. Heat to simmering point, then cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Add the courgettes, squash, tomatoes and harissa, with a little extra water if necessary. Put the lid back on and return the casserole to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, adding extra harissa if desired, then scatter over the parsley and serve.