Pic of Freeform homity pie with green salad

Freeform homity pie with green salad

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Vegetarian mains

Freeform homity pie with green salad

Main Serves 2 1h 10 min
Homity pie, the staple of Cranks' vegetarian wholefood restaurants, where I worked many (many!) years ago, still has a special place in my heart.

Cook's notes

Where it came from originally is up for discussion. A World War Two ration book meal? The hearty creation of a Devon farmer's wife? Any road, it's comforting, filling and tasty. This version uses puff pastry, but we've kept the classic open-pie form, just made it a little more freestyle.


  • 1 baking potato
  • ½ leek
  • 1 small onion
  • oil for frying, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • 15g parsley
  • 50g salad leaves
  • good handful alfalfa
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • ½ tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 75g grated cheddar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ pack puff pastry
  • salt and pepper
Image of Freeform homity pie with green salad


Prep time: 40 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Boil a kettle. Wash, peel and dice the potato into 2cm chunks. Transfer to a saucepan with a good pinch or two of salt. Pour over enough boiling water to cover, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, trim the leek and cut in half lengthways.
  • Step 2

    Finely shred one half (save the rest for another meal). Rinse well. Peel and finely dice the onion. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add the leek and onion. Gently fry for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until soft. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop or crush the garlic.
  • Step 3

    Wash half the pack of parsley and shake well to remove excess moisture. Wash the salad leaves and a good handful of the alfalfa sprouts. Once cooked, drain the potato into a colander.
  • Step 4

    Leave to sit for 2 minutes for excess steam to evaporate, then mash with 1 tablespoon of double cream and some salt and pepper. Add the garlic and dried mixed herbs to the leek and onion. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Mix with the potato and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Step 5

    Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 6. Once the potato has cooled, mix in the parsley and half the cheddar. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Lightly grease a nonstick baking tray with a little oil. Crack the egg into a small bowl or cup.
  • Step 6

    Use a fork to whisk white and yolk together. Take the pastry out of the fridge and unroll it. Cut into quarter's (you just need 2 of these pieces – save the rest for use in other meals). Lay 2 of the quarter's on the baking tray.
  • Step 7

    Making sure the potato mixture is well squidged together, divide it between the 2 pastry pieces, leaving a 2-3cm border of pastry. Gather up the pastry edges and push them up and over the potato mix to partly cover it, leaving some of the top exposed. It should form a rough, oval, open-topped parcel.
  • Step 8

    Brush the sides and top of the pastry with beaten egg (just use your finger if you've not got a pastry brush). Top the exposed veg with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until the pastry is cooked through, golden brown and puffed up.
  • Step 9

    Mix the salad leaves and alfalfa and toss them in a little dressing if you like. Serve with the cooked pies.

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