Julie’s Leek Chestnut Twist
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 20 mins
400g celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
1 whole leek, entire leek – whites & green leaves
4 slices bread, crusts removed
1.5 tbsp fresh sage leaves
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 sheets of puff pastry
Plain flour for rolling
20 ml agave syrup (or use honey or maple syrup)
20ml (rapeseed) oil
Rosemary sprigs and dried cranberries to garnish
Veg Portions / Serving: 1
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan/gas 4).
Place the chopped celeriac in a bowl, and drizzle with oil. Toss through the oil until each piece is lightly coated. Place the celeriac on a baking tray and bake in the oven until tender, about 20 minutes.
On a separate baking tray place the shallots and drizzle with oil. Slice the leek lengthways and lay facing up on the same baking tray as the shallots. Drizzle with oil. Place tray in the oven and bake both the shallots and leek until lightly caramelised, about 15 minutes.
Peel the apples, remove the core, and thinly slice. Boil sliced apple in water until tender, drain well, then mash into a puree. Set aside.
Remove the celeriac, leeks and shallots from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Add to a food processor or blender and pulse until a roughly textured puree.
Break up the sliced bread roughly and add to the puree mix. Pulse a few times until the bread is mixed through. Add the apple puree, and pulse 1- 2 times.
Add the chopped chestnuts, sage, rosemary and salt and pulse 1-2 times until mixed through. Remove and add this mixture to a bowl, ready to use to fill the pastry.
Line a baking tray with baking paper, and lay out your pastry sheets next to each other on the tray. Cut into 4, so they are equal lengths and widths.
Starting one cm in from the edge of each pastry sheet, add the filling mixture along the length of the pastry with a spoon, making sure to leave one cm gap at all ends.
Being very careful not to tear the pastry, gently but tightly roll each pastry sheet with filling into a long sausage-shaped strand. Pinch each of the ends and edges to secure the filling, so that the filling does not fall apart when baking.
Now begin to plait your pastry. To start, secure all 4 sausage-shaped strands together at the top, by pinching the dough so they stick together. Starting from left to right start overlapping the strands in a plait, and then left to right. Secure at the end by pinching together and overlapping the strands and tucking them under each other to secure.
Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to firm up. Can be made up to this point a day in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Once the plaited pastry is chilled, heat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan/gas 4).
Mix the agave with the oil and brush all over the pastry, to prevent it from getting too dry, and also to help give the pastry a nice golden colour. Bake for 40-45 mins until golden brown.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter and decorate with fresh herbs, and dried cranberries if you wish.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Have the kids drizzle the oil over the celeriac and toss it, then spread on the baking tray. They can do the same with the shallots and leeks. Let them help you mash the apples and add ingredients to the food processor or push the buttons to help pulse it all together. They can carefully help add the filling the the pastry and slowly roll it. Older kids may enjoy helping you braid the pastry, and younger ones will love mixing the oil and syrup and brushing over it before baking. They’ll love decorating it after baking, too!
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.