This Burn's Night I have set myself the challenge of cooking a wild Burn's Supper using lean venison meat and lots of wild foraged herbs and vegetables. However, this isn't practical for everyone - particularly if there is still snow on the ground or you're not yet a confident forager. So why don't you try a more conventional 'healthy haggis' full of tasty herbs for your Burn's Night?
Here is one of my recipes full of nutritious herbs, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
20g coconut oil
2 medium sized onions
2 fat cloves of garlic
1 small knob of ginger
2 large peeled carrots
8 chestnut mushrooms
1 big handful fresh sage leaves
1 heaped teaspoon dried thyme
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
1 flat teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of porcini powder
500ml vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1-2 tablespoons of port
50g rolled oats
50g hazel nuts
100g uncooked puy lentils
300g can pre-cooked borlotti beans
20g brown linseeds
20g sunflower seeds
1 pack of filo pastry
Finely chop the onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, mushrooms and sage. Put the oats, hazelnuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds into a blender or food processor and lightly pulse until the texture is similar to the buckwheat. Drain the borlotti beans and roughly chop them.
Fry the chopped onions, garlic, ginger and carrot, in a saucepan, gently on a low heat in some olive oil or coconut oil until the onions become translucent. Add the mushrooms and fry for 3 minutes, then add the sage leaves and wilt for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, porcini powder, the dried herbs, spices, bay leaves and the vegetable stock - which should cover the mixture - bring to the boil and simmer gently for around 12 minutes until the lentils are 'al dente'. Add the oats and the buckwheat and simmer for 3 minutes. The lentils should now be soft and the stock absorbed.
Fold in the beans, the chopped nuts and the seeds, moistening with a little port. The mixture should be moist but not wet.
Now line a baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven at 180C.
Peel off 1 sheet of filo pastry and lay flat on a clean, lightly floured worktop. Fold it in half. Put one large tablespoon of the mixture onto the narrow end of the filo sheet and spread it lengthways (across the narrow end) only leaving a few cm at each edge for the tuck. Then roll the sheet over the filling to create a 'sausage shape'. Tuck the ends underneath and place on the baking tray. Brush the tops with a little olive oil or butter. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
Bake in the oven until golden brown on the top. About 20-25 minutes.
Neeps: Mashed swede or 'clapshot'. This is diced swede boiled for 15 minutes, drained and then mashed with butter (or coconut oil if vegan), salt, pepper and ground nutmeg. Allow 175-200g of swede per person.
Tatties: Mashed potato. This is diced potato boiled for 15 minutes, drained then mashed with butter, hot milk (or oat milk if vegan), salt and pepper. For a healthier alternative, use sweet potatoes. Allow 175g-200g of raw potatoes per person.
Greens: Purists will raise their eyebrows as vegetables do not form part of the 'Holy Trinity' of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. However, from a health point of view, I recommend far more green vegetables in our diet than is traditionally eaten. So add some broccoli or green peas, or a green side salad.