Nutritional information,  Savoury

Salmon and leek pie and soul-searching for horses

Salmon and leek pie

There is no doubt in my mind that horses chat amongst themselves. I’ve noticed a distinct pattern: horses usually arrive here quite well-disciplined, but their behaviour becomes more and more erratic the longer they stay. When Jazz arrived in September, I had rarely encountered a more angelic horse. He came when called, didn’t push and shove, lowered his head to accommodate his head collar or bridle, respected the fences, didn’t nip… Seven months on, he’s obviously been chatting with the others and picking up naughty tips because he now: takes off at full speed when I approach with the head collar, opens the field gate with his teeth, stamps his feet when his breakfast or dinner are served late, plays football with his feed bucket, and takes off to visit the neighbours’ horses without so much as a by your leave.

Thinking about the horses’ various foibles and the expressions of their ‘états d’âme’, I realised that ‘état d’âme’ is something that is almost impossible to translate correctly into English. The dictionary translation is ‘state of mind’, or perhaps ‘mood’ or ‘vein of feeling’, but it’s not that; it’s much more. It literally means ‘state of the soul’, or internal climate; it’s a unique mixture of emotion and transient thoughts. Who knew horses could be so intense!

Leeks: a multitude of benefits

Leeks, like all of the alliums are high in sulphur-based compounds such as allicin, that can help to reduce blood clotting and has prevent viruses. Alliums have also been linked to a decreased risk of certain cancers. Leeks are rich in flavonoids, which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a good source of vitamin K, which may reduce the risk of, amongst other things, osteoporosis. Leeks contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two substances that reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Recipe for salmon and leek pie (serves 4-6)

  • 400g puff pastry (here is my recipe)
  • 50g butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 500g leeks, cleaned and cut into rounds
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 500g salmon filet, cut into strips
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a 25cm non-stick tart tin with the pastry, setting aside enough pastry to make a top. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the shallots and leeks. Cover and leave to cook for about 15 minutes, or until the leeks have softened, then add the crème fraîche and seasoning and set aside. Meanwhile, distribute the salmon on the pastry in the lined tart tin, then add the leek mixture, and garnish with the fresh parsley. Finally cover the tart with the pastry top and brush with egg yolk. Cook for 25 minutes.

One Comment

  • kristenann

    You should feel complimented that the horses must just get really comfortable at your place and let all their moods out loud and proud :). Salmon and leeks are two of my favorites~ this sounds like a keeper!

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