Recipe: Watercress and sheep's cheese pie with Dorset wasabi potato salad

Watercress and sheep's cheese filo pie, a Dorset spin on the Greek spanakopita

Watercress and sheep's cheese filo pie, a Dorset spin on the Greek spanakopita - Credit: larajanethorpephotography.co.uk

Food photographer and writer Lara Jane Thorpe shares two summer recipes to bring a little bit of Dorset magic to your picnic. 

Watercress and sheep’s cheese filo pie

This is my Dorset take on the creamy Greek feta cheese and spinach pies I remember enjoying on my many visits to Athens. I’ve swapped spinach for locally grown watercress from The Watercress Company. The pine nuts add a crunchy contrast with the creamy saltiness of Buckshaw Feta, made with milk from the flock based at the family run farm in Holwell. 

Watercress and sheep's cheese filo pie, brilliant for picnics

Watercress and sheep's cheese filo pie, brilliant for picnics - Credit: larajanethorpephotography.co.uk

Makes one pie suitable for 4-6 people  

1 onion, finely chopped 

4 cups of watercress, chopped 

1 egg 

fresh grated nutmeg 

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100g Buckshaw Feta  

100g Buckshaw White Sheep's Cheese (or use Cheddar)  

1/4 cup pine nuts  

olive oil spray 

filo pastry (5 sheets) 

freshly ground black pepper  

Method: Preheat the oven to 200°c/gas mark 6. Add a little olive oil to a frying pan and gently fry the onions until they are softened and slightly caramelised. Add the chopped watercress, cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted down, set aside to cool. 

Beat the egg in a large bowl then grate/crumble the two cheeses into it. Pour off any excess liquid from the cooled onion/watercress mix, then combine with the egg/cheese, stir through the pine nuts, grate in a little nutmeg then give it all a good mix. 

In an ovenproof frying pan, or round pie dish, place a sheet of greaseproof paper. Spray with a little olive oil, add a layer of filo pastry (leave the excess pastry hanging over the sides). Spray that layer with olive oil, place another sheet of filo pastry on top. Continue with this process for each sheet, until they are all used up.   

Spoon your cheesy watercress mixture into the middle of the layered filo, bring the overhanging pastry up and over the mixture to create a pie. Spray the top of the pie with olive oil before putting into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crispy.  

Eat this pie warm with a tossed green salad, but it’s also great cold on a picnic especially when paired with my Dorset wasabi potato salad.  

Dorset apple and ginger cake

Dorset apple and ginger cake, no need to add ginger beer - Credit: larajanethorpephotography.co.uk

Click here for Lara's recipe for Dorset apple and ginger cake 

Dorset wasabi potato salad 

This is a spiced up variation of that summer staple – potato salad – adding in Dorset grown wasabi. If you want a less punchy version, use a normal mayo, or garlic mayo. To make this vegan try Ajar of Cluckless Mayonnaise with a teaspoon of Wasabi Mustard for heat. The Beetroot & Apple Infused Dorset Sea Salt (Dorset Sea Salt Company), adds a glorious garnish of colour.  

Wasabi new potato salad topped with beetroot and apple infused Dorset sea salt

Wasabi new potato salad topped with beetroot and apple infused Dorset sea salt - Credit: larajanethorpephotography.co.uk

2lbs new potatoes 

2 tbsp Wasabi Mayonnaise (The Wasabi Company)  

2 sticks of celery, diced  

½ a red onion finely sliced 

2 tbsp capers (try Olives Et Al

Beetroot & Apple Infused Dorset Sea Salt  

freshly ground black pepper  

Method: Boil the new potatoes until cooked through but still firm, leave to cool. In a large bowl combine red onion, celery and capers with the Wasabi Mayonnaise, then add your cooled potatoes, either whole or cut in half, gently mix so the potatoes are well covered. Just before serving, grind some black pepper and sprinkle the bright pink beetroot and apple infused sea salt over the top. 

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