- 5 organic or free-range eggs
- A knob of butter
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 large leeks, washed and finely sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- 2 parsnips, peeled and grated
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
- 250g basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for about an hour
- 500ml vegetable stock
- A small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- A small bunch of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 100g cheshire cheese
- 1 packet of puff pastry
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add 4 of the eggs. Cook at a rolling boil for 6 minutes then take out of the pan, crack the shells, run under cold water and leave to cool until you can peel them.
- Heat the butter in a large frying pan and add the onion and leeks and cook for 10 minutes until soft and sweet. Add the carrot, parsnip and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the rice and the stock. Simmer for 8 minutes or until the rice is just al dente.
- Add the herbs, grate in the zest of the lemon, squeeze in the juice, crumble in the cheese and mix well. Set aside to cool. Peel the cooled eggs and cut into thick slices.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Cut the pastry in half and roll out one half on a dusting of flour to the size of an A4 sheet of paper, then roll the other half out about 2cm bigger.
- Put the smaller sheet on a lined baking tray and pile half of the rice mixture into the middle, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Lay the sliced eggs over the top and add the rest of the rice, using your hand to pack it together into a flat loaf shape.
- Beat the remaining egg in a bowl. Brush around the edge of the pastry then put the other sheet on top, pressing around the edge with a fork or your fingers so it is tightly sealed along the edge and there are absolutely no holes.
- Brush the whole thing with more of the beaten egg and then score the top, making sure not to pierce the pastry.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Note: Make it vegan Incidentally, a lot of shop-bought pastry, both puff and filo, is vegan. If you’d like to make these pies vegan, I’d suggest using about 50g of silken tofu per boiled egg, doing the same with the cheese and brushing the pastry with olive oil instead of egg wash before baking.