Here is a little bit of background on the name Gricklegrass lentil pie. When It was 1998 I was 18, a student studying professional photography, living in a small rural North Canterbury town Oxford, New Zealand. Not far from our family home on Woodside Road was a commune called GRICKLEGRASS organic farm. I decided one day for an assignment I would visit and ask if I could photograph some of the people living there. Gricklegrass consisted of a lovely character, rambling home from the late 1800’s which was in a state of disrepair set on over 20 acres of farmland that ran down to the Coopers Creek riverbed. At this time there were a number of eclectic residents, a few young families, alternative, idealistic young organic farmers and always some transient eccentrics like Graham who lived on his bus. My first visit to the intriguing Gricklegrass I met the dreadlocked 23-year-old Andrew MacDonald who was digging some holes out by the front door. This meeting was perhaps one of the most profound moments which changed the course of both of our lives. Andrew and I entered an extremely special season of close friendship and companionship. I often would be invited to shared pot luck meals. I remember these always to be fun and the Gricklegrass table was always overladen of lovingly made whole food salads, curries and sourdough breads. Lentil pie reminds me of these feasts. I had a nostalgic hankering for a Wholemeal Lentil pie. This is the recipe I came up with.
RECIPE : GRICKLEGRASS WHOLEMEAL LENTIL PIE
- Homemade is best Wholemeal Shortcrust pastry for base
- 200 grams Wholemeal pastry (I used freshly organic stoneground flour)
- 100 grams chilled butter, cut into cubes
- cold iced water
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 cup of lentils (I used blonde lentils, but brown or puy would still work)
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes in juice
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar to taste
- Agria mashing potatoes for the top and I used leftover cheese Taleggio from my fridge to melt over the top.
- In a large pot bring well salted water to the boil and boil potatoes in well salted water till tender. Then put through a potato mouli or mash the old-fashioned way with milk, butter, salt till creamy.
- To make the pastry, work the flour into the butter with your fingers in a big bowl until they resemble breadcrumbs and add the water until it comes together into a smooth ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Delicious served with cauliflower and eggplant salad (previous post) or a big green salad. A side relish or chutney is a perfect accompaniment.
I also went on to produce a series of portraits of the residents of Gricklegrass farm for my Professional Photography studies. These are some of the photos (originals were all handprints and taken with a 6×6 format vintage Rolliflex camera, 2.8mm Zeiss lens)