Christmas is now well on the way and I’m totally disorganised with present buying (as usual) mainly because I spend all my time crafting, cooking and writing about it – which are the bits I enjoy!

I have been chosen to be a Sainsbury’s Christmas Ambassador which sounds very grand but actually just means I can go to Sainsbury’s and spend some money – which I do once a week anyway! This week I have stocked up my storecupboard with some veggie festive foodie plans in mind! There are lots of offers in store, I snapped up two boxes of Merchant Gourmet vacuum packed chestnuts and got the second half price, watch this space for recipes!

Christmas storecupboard contents arranged on a side board.

This week I took advantage of Sainsbury’s current wine offer and bought 6 bottles of wine, all of which were reduced in price and then received an extra 25% off that too, a bargain!

There are pulses, nuts, chutneys, olives, chocolate, baking ingredients and puppodums up there but last night it was that tin of asparagus which jumped into my hand as I began to think about stocking the freezer with make ahead meals.

Asparagus, Brie and Walnut Filo Pie

Asparagus, Brie and Walnut Filo Pie, cut in half on a baking tray.

This is a rough and ready pie which tastes delicious and makes a good vegetarian Christmas centre piece

Ingredients (Serves 2 as a generous main meal, 4-6 as a starter)

  • 5 sheets  filo pastry
  • 50g butter, melted (plus more if needed)
  • 75g chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 1 banana shallot diced (it doesn’t have to be a banana shallot I just find their shape pleasing!)
  • 1 x 425g can of asparagus spears, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • A handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g vegetarian brie

Method (Preheat your oven to 180°C)

  1. Fry the shallot and mushrooms gently in a tbsp of rape seed oil (if you’ve only got olive oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil that’s fine!) until brown and the mushroom juices have been fried off.
  2. Add the chopped asparagus, the walnuts and a little salt and pepper to taste
  3. Fry for one minute and then leave to cool
  4. Butter a baking tray and lay one slice of filo on it, brush with butter and place another slice of filo pastry on top of the first, repeat with a third sheet
  5. Spread the mustard over the centre of the pastry in a rough circle
  6. Pile the filling onto the mustardy circle and top with brie slices
  7. Butter the pastry all around the edge and fold up roughly around the asparagus mixture
  8. Brush the folded up pastry with more butter, crumple the fourth sheet of filo and place on top as a lid
  9. Use the 5th sheet of filo for a more crumpled crispy topping if you feel it needs it or your filling is showing
  10. Brush with the remaining butter, pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until brown and crisp
  11. Serve with steamed new potatoes and salad or roast potatoes and Christmassy veg

Vegetarian Christmas pie with filo pastry on a baking tray.

Freezer Tips: To make this pie ahead of time simply open freeze it at the end of stage 9 then brush it with butter and pop it straight into the oven from frozen for 25-30 minutes. Check it is piping hot to the centre before serving.