view all blog posts

Could this be Prince’s favourite pie? Try out the recipe for National Vegetarian Week

May 22 2014

Is this Prince’s favourite pie? 

According to PETA, pocket-sized popster Prince is one of the world’s sexiest vegetarians.  And as a fan of the colour purple we reckon he’d love this Aubergine-based strudel pie….

Do try it at home.  It’s National Vegetarian Week so what a perfect time to give it a go! (It’s just one of many vegetarian pies in our cookbook A Pie for all Seasons, which has just been released with a great new Paperback cover).

Smoked aubergine and olive strudel

If you like baba ganoush (smoky aubergine dip), then you will absolutely love this dish.


Serves 4


  • 1 Aubergine
  • 2tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra for cooking the spinach
  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp ground allspice
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 2 small preserved lemons, flesh removed, skin chopped
  • 100g green olives, chopped
  • 200g spinach
  • 1 heaped tbsp. extra-thick Greek yoghurt
  • 5 sheets of filo pastry
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • Sea salt and black pepper


Prick a few small holes in the aubergine, put it over a gas burner and leave for 10-15 minutes, until blackened all over, turning regularly (you can also do this under the grill or you can roast the aubergine in the oven at 200◦C / 400◦F / gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes until soft; it won’t taste smoky though). Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small pan, add the onion, green pepper, garlic and cumin seeds and cook gently for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to turn golden. Stir in the ground allspice and cook for a minute or so longer. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Peel the blackened skin off the aubergine – it doesn’t matter if there is a little left on. Roughly chop the flesh and stir it into the onion mixture. Add the tomatoes, honey, preserved lemons and green olives.

Heat a large saucepan, add a drizzle of oil, then add the spinach and some salt and pepper. Cook briefly over a medium heat until wilted, then transfer to a colander and gently press out excess liquid. Add the spinach to the aubergine mixture, together with the Greek yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper – you probably won’t need much salt because of the preserved lemon and olives.

Preheat the oven to 180◦C/350◦F/gas mark 4. Place a sheet of filo pastry on a damp tea towel and brush with melted butter. Place another sheet of filo on top and brush with more butter. Repeat with the remaining filo and butter to make a stack of filo sheets.

Spread the aubergine filling along one short end of the pastry, taking it almost to the edges. Roll the pastry around the filling, using the tea towel to help you roll, and tucking in the pastry at the sides once or twice as you go.

Turn it so the seam is underneath and brush all over with melted butter. Place on a buttered baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and brush with a little more melted butter. Serve warm or cold. It’s good with a herb salad and some Greek yoghurt drizzled with olive oil.

Tris'-30 Tris'-31Tris'-47

Topics: recipes