Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for leftover roast veg and harissa spiral pie

This is a recipe built for Boxing Day. This pie is 1.7m long before it’s rolled into a spiral, which is silly and fun (and an activity you could rope grandpa and the kids into). Happily, it doesn’t take much work, either, because it uses leftover roast vegetables from the Christmas meal and, apart from frying some onions, plus a bit of mashing, mixing and the aforementioned rolling, the oven does most of the work. Leaving you free to enjoy a preprandial walk, a spot of Scrabble, or to tidy the Christmas chocolates.

If you don’t have leftover roast vegetables, or not enough of them, chop about 1.2kg potatoes and root vegetables, drizzle them with oil, mix with half a teaspoon of salt and roast at 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 for 30-40 minutes.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 4-6

75g vegan butter
3 red onions
, peeled and sliced
1 tsp salt
6 garlic cloves
, peeled and grated
750g leftover roast vegetables (ie, 450g potatoes, 150g parsnip and 150g sprouts), chopped as small as possible
3 tbsp harissa paste
1 x 7-sheet pack filo
, defrosted if frozen
3 tbsp oil, for brushing

Heat the butter in a medium pan over a medium heat and, once it’s just frothing, add the onions and salt, and saute, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until they have softened and sweated down and are just darkening at the edges.

Add the garlic, sweat for two minutes more, until noticeably sticky and just starting to colour, then stir in the chopped roast veg, fry for another two minutes and take off the heat. Add the harissa to the pan and mash it into the veg with the back of a wooden spoon until you have a fiery-red mess of vegetables. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filo.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Clear and clean a 2m-long space on a kitchen counter (and try to cajole a small group of people into helping you roll). Lay out four sheets of filo end to end with the long side in line with the edge of the counter and overlapping each sheet by about 2cm, then brush the top of this long layer of pastry with oil. Starting from the middle of the first sheet, lay another three sheets of filo in a line on top of the first line, and brush with more oil.

Lay the filling in a thin line along the long edge of the filo rectangle you have in front of you, leaving a 5cm border at the edge closest to you; make sure the filling is in a nice, even line. Carefully roll the edge of filo nearest you over the filling, then press into a thin snake. Continue rolling the filo over on itself, pausing occasionally to make sure it’s still nice and tight. Once you’ve rolled it completely, take one end of the snake and coil it around itself so you end up with a satisfyingly coiled snake. If any cracks appear, don’t panic: just press the pastry around them as tightly together as possible, so the filling won’t burst out.

Put the coil on a lined baking tray and bake for 40 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Leave to cool slightly, then slice and serve hot, perhaps with a sharp salad.

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