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Potato pitta pockets with spring greens – a rustic, wholesome and earthy dish.

There is a longstanding joke with my nephew and niece about Osterley Park. For those not familiar with it, it is a beautiful national trust park that I love and am lucky enough to have on my doorstep. Most guests are invariably invited to visit it, much to the amusement of my nephew and niece!

As part of my drive to eat seasonally, I go to Osterley park farm shop once a week. I love spring greens – I find they hold their shape far more than spinach does and this dish ticks all the right boxes for some comforting winter food. It is just as tasty as a filling for a warm sandwich the following day.

I came up with the idea of this recipe last year, and it is already a firm family favourite. Generally in Indian cooking we will eat a dish called “Aloo methi” – potato and fenugreek dish, or “Aloo palak” – potato and spinach dish. However, the fenugreek season ends in the summer in the UK, and I wanted a change from spinach.

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A lovely selection of fresh vegetables from Osterley Park.

Cooking information.

Serves 4 – 6

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 – 30 minutes

Freezing: not suitable

Vegan, gluten free (be sure to buy gluten free pitta bread)

Leftover yogurt – add fruit, put on granola, muesli, etc, radish can be part of a salad

Ingredients

1 medium – largish onion – finely diced

50ml vegetable oil

300g spring greens – washed and dried, then finely chopped with stems included

250g potatoes – peeled and chopped into I cm cubes ( I leave the skin on, but peel them if you prefer)

1 level teaspoon salt

1 inch root ginger, minced/very finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced/finely chopped

You can use ready made ginger/garlic if you prefer – 1 heaped teaspoon of each

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon cayenne/chilli powder – (add more at the end if you like it hot)

1 level teaspoon garam masala to garnish – available from Indian shops/supermarkets

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The finely chopped spring greens.

Suggested serving – 1.5 – 2 pitta breads per person (depends on how hungry someone is!)

100g pot of plain yogurt – I always buy Yeo Valley organic plain yogurt as I think it has such a rich and creamy taste, and it’s my way of supporting the West Country as I have a special affinity to it!

To serve

Radish raita – get a handful of radishes, put these into a bowl. Chop these into small chunks, add them to the yogurt, and just before serving, grind some black pepper onto it. I personally do not add salt but you may wish to do so.

Tip – you can prepare the spring greens the day before, wrap them in a clean tea towel/a few pieces of kitchen towel, put them in a clean bag ( I usually use an old bread bag), store in a cool place.

You will need a large pan with a lid, a non-stick frying pan is ideal.

Method

  1. Put the oil in the pan on a medium heat, let the oil heat up, and then add the onions. Cover with a lid, stir frequently. Sauté the onions until they are a light golden brown. This should take no longer than 10 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, salt, ginger, garlic, chilli and turmeric, stir well, and cover with a lid again. At this stage lower the heat – you do not want the ginger, garlic or spices to burn. If the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, add a dash of water.
  2. After a few minutes, there will be a lovely aroma, add the potatoes, mix well, cover with a lid and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
  3. Then add the spring greens and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes. Check the potatoes are cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
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    Cooked and ready to be put in a pitta!
  4. Heat the pitta breads, cut in half and stuff with the potato and greens.
  5. Serve with radish raita, or plain yoghurt if you prefer.