Festival food

I remember when I used to go to festivals as a teenager and festival food was more or less synonymous with warm beer, greasy chips and overpriced burgers. But fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

I went to Green Man Festival at Glanusk Park in the Black Mountains last weekend and was overwhelmed by choice. There were dozens of food and drink stalls, offering freshly cooked dishes, as well as local ciders and ales.

Thali Cafe

Thali Cafe is based in Bristol, but has been catering at events for more than 11 years. As I walked past the stall, it was impossible to resist the fragrant herbs and spices, although it was difficult to decide what to order!

I finally went for a butternut squash and red pepper curry with seasoned basmati rice, which was delicious. The portions were hearty and at £5.50, it was good value for money. What’s more, all the packaging was recyclable and biodegradable.

Green Man Festival

Green Man Festival

Pieminister

I first came across Pieminister at the Bath Food Festival and have been looking out for them ever since. They serve some delicious vegetarian pies, including a wild mushroom and asparagus variety and my personal favourite, the heidi pie.

The heidi pie is filled with goats cheese, sweet potato, spinach and red onion. You can opt to have the pie on its own (£5) or with mash, peas and vegetarian gravy (£7). The veggie gravy is tasty, but slightly tricky to eat from a takeaway box.

Shepherds

Shepherds is based at Cwm Farm in Herefordshire and specialises in ice cream made from sheep’s milk. During the summer, they run stalls at agricultural shows, music festivals and other outdoor events.

The stall offered 16 different flavours of ice cream, including chocolate, ginger and banana toffee crunch. Sheep’s milk contains more minerals and less fat than cow’s milk, so you don’t even have to feel guilty about indulging..!

Video: Sue Gibson

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Vegetable wellington

Vegetable Wellington

Vegetable Wellington

I made Vegetable Wellington for Christmas dinner last year, and it worked really well. It’s delicious served with roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and all the regular Christmas trimmings. You can also substitute the tomato sauce for vegetarian gravy, if preferred.

Preparation time: 50 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 1 red pepper
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 1/2 bag of baby spinach
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pack of puff pastry
  • 1 onion
  • 300ml chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml vegetable stock

 Method:

  1. Chop the leek, red pepper, and mushrooms, and sauté in the olive oil over medium heat until tender.
  2. Add the spinach, turn off the heat, and mix until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Combine the cream cheese and pesto.
  4. Beat the egg with 2 tsp of water.
  5. Lay the puff pastry on a cutting board, and cut into 3 equal strips.
  6. Place 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture on the bottom half of each strip of puff pastry.
  7. Place 1/3 of the sautéed vegetables on top of the cream cheese on each strip.
  8. Brush the egg onto the bottom edges of the puff pastry, and fold the top half of the pastry on top of the sautéed vegetables. Squeeze the edges together and crimp with a fork.
  9. Transfer the 3 pastries onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, and brush the top of each pastry with egg.
  10. Preheat the oven to 200oc. Bake the pastries for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  11. To make the tomato sauce, chop the onion and put in a saucepan with the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock. Boil until reduced to thick tomato sauce.
  12. Pour the sauce over the pastries to serve.

Merry Christmas!

Photo: Rebecca Winzenried

Leek and goat’s cheese tarts

Leek and Goat's Cheese Tart

Leek and Goat's Cheese Tarts

I really like cooking with pastry. It’s easy to do and looks so impressive! I’ve used shop bought pastry in this recipe, but it doesn’t take too much longer to make your own. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can experiment with any filling that takes your fancy. I like to serve these tarts with roasted seasonal vegetables.

 Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • A knob of butter
  • 2 large leeks
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • A block of pastry
  • A large block of goat’s cheese

Method:

  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan until sizzling, then add the leeks, thyme, salt and pepper.
  2. Sweat the leeks gently for 20-25 mins. Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. Heat the oven to 2000C.
  4. Roll out the pastry. Cut out four saucer-size circles and place them on a baking sheet.
  5. Spread the leeks over the circles, leaving a slight border around the edge.
  6. Put a slice of goat’s cheese in the middle of each tart and top with a thyme sprig.
  7. Pinch the pastry edge together to encase the leeks.
  8. Bake the tarts for 25 mins until puffed up and golden.

Now sit back with a nice glass of wine and enjoy…

Photo: Vanessa Pike-Russell