The days grow darker.
From the pale, thin veil of light that breaks through the curtains in the morning, to the looming shadows of the afternoon. The weather is turning, the earth is turning. This season is turning, into itself, unfurling with the gentle grace of thousands of years of practice.
And i continue to delight in it all. As i pull my collar up against the beckoning winds, as i stomp gleefully through the crisp leaves. As i linger in the dying light of the day, all the more resplendent from how it hangs so low in the western sky.
It would be easy (and has been before) to suffer these changes unfavourably. To mourn, to begrudge, to pine for summer days gone by. But really, there is so much beauty going on right now. So much beauty that has such a wonderful and surprising effect- on the social beings within us.
For now is the time to linger over tea, with friends in cozy cafes. To snuggle up on the sofa with a bottle of wine and a loved one. Even, to really enjoy ones own company, to dedicate an afternoon to spending time with your best friend- yourself. To seep into a hot bath, draw the curtains and light a candle, to lose yourself in a really good book.
Perhaps i love this season so much because it encourages, neigh demands, that feeling of nesting. Of comfort, closeness and peace. The spirit of summer is gone, taking with it busy plans, bright lights and days that needs to be seized.
The pace of the world (in the northern hemisphere at least) is slowing considerably. And it is this i would like to thank. Thank you, for giving me time to assess and take stock. For bringing a warmth to my heart and soul. For showing me all the beauty i may have been to busy to appreciate.
And for that i give you this dish. I’ve yet to make my own vegan haggis but if you have please let me know in the comments. As a results, this dish comes together pretty quickly- simply sauté the vegetables with the haggis (or flambé as Callum did “unintentionally” which, in my opinion was delicious, but he wasn’t such a fan), blanche the turnips and combine in a medium casserole dish with a generous lick of cashew cream. Pop in the oven and 30 minutes later- a hug on a plate. Its quite a rich dish so i served ours with salad but it would be equally good with some freshly baked bread.
I hope you’re all enjoying this season as much me.
(Serves 4, Vegan, Gluten Free)
- 1 Vegetarian Haggis (most shop bought ones are vegan and gluten free but make sure you check)
- 1 white Onion, diced
- 1 Leek, sliced
- 1 stalk Celery, sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup Single Malt Whiskey (optional but damn fine)
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 medium Turnip, peeled
- 1 cup Cashews, soaked for 4 hours
- 2 cups Water + extra for blanching turnips
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp ground Peppercorns
- Heat your oven to 180c, bring a medium pan of water to the boil
- Either slice or mandolin your turnip into 1/4″ disks, pop into the water and cook on high for 5 mins, drain and set aside
- Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion, leek, celery and salt
- Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the garlic
- Cook for a further 5 mins before adding the haggis
- Reduce the heat to medium/ low and cook for 5 mins
- Add the whiskey if using and either flambé or cook for a further 5 minutes
- Blend the cashews, water and peppercorns until smooth
- Layer the lasagne, starting with a few spoonfuls of haggis, then enough disks of turnip to cover
- Spoon over some cashew cream and repeat until finished, ending with a layer of cream
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling