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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Red dragon pie

Welsh Dragon

Red Dragon Pie

As I’ve only recently moved to Cardiff, I was planning to seek out some Welsh vegetarian recipes, but this first one is a bit of a cheat…

I was first cooked this dish when staying with a friend in Carmarthen, and what with the name, you can see why I might have thought it was a traditional Welsh recipe!

It turns out the name actually comes from the adzuki beans, which are known as “red dragon” beans in China.

Anyway, it’s a wonderfully warming dish, perfect for those cold, dark winter evenings.

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 tins of adzuki beans (or 200g dried beans)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 250g carrots, diced
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ pint stock
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsps soy sauce
  • Black pepper
  • 450g potatoes, sliced
  • 25g butter
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Fry the onion and carrot in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
  3. Add the beans, chopped tomato, stock, herbs, soy sauce and freshly ground pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, before reducing the liquid to a thick sauce. Transfer the mixture to a pie dish.
  4. Parboil the potato slices for 5 mins, then arrange on top of the filling.
  5. Dot with butter and a drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely browned.

Enjoy…

Photo: Draig Goch via Flickr