Summer Vegetable Pie

If you equate pies with autumn and winter, think again. This is such a light, delicious concoction, it almost floats into your mouth. Packed with summer vegetables and soft, aromatic herbs and topped with paper-thin filo, it’s a joy to eat.

The inspiration came, partly, from our kitchen garden but also from a Covent Garden restaurant called Porters, now closed. (A long and sad story.) Porters specialised in traditional English food, with menu items such as spotted dick, faggots and roly-poly pudding causing gales of giggles in overseas visitors. In 2004 its founder, Richard, Earl of Bradford co-authored Porters English Cookery Bible with food writer Carol Wilson.

This pie is based on one in the book. I’ve tweaked the filling to my personal tastes and changed the topping from puff pastry to crumpled filo, but as one of our nieces is fond of saying, you do you. Ring the changes on the summer vegetables according to what you have handy, even leave out the tarragon (sob) if you dislike its aniseed flavour, but do please add lots of herbs.

Image of summer vegetable pie, topped with crumpled filo, cut open to show filling

Other notes:

  • The vegetables go into the pie raw so harder veg like carrots need to be very thinly sliced. I used a hand-held mandolin similar to this one. Useful for small jobs or when you’re short on space.
  • I added some asparagus – I know the season’s officially over here but ours started a week late because of the cold spring so I snuck in one last picking. You can omit it if you can’t source any.
  • I double podded the broad beans. You don’t have to if they’re young and fresh, it’s a personal preference, but I think they work better in this dish. Blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, cool under cold running water and nick the skins with your thumbnail to slip out the beans.
  • Chervil can be hard to find if you don’t grow it yourself. Add more tarragon and/or substitute another soft green herb of your choice.
  • Don’t be alarmed by the cream and eggs. You’re not going to produce a quiche with a lid – they thicken slightly to provide a wonderful sauce.
  • I used a tin 20cm in diameter and 4cm deep. I needed 3 or 4 sheets of filo to cover my pie, depending on the size and make of the pastry. Adjust as necessary.

Summer Vegetable Pie

Image of summer vegetable pie, cut open to show filling


125g broad beans, double podded weight

125g peas, podded weight

150g baby carrots, scrubbed or peeled and very thinly sliced

1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

3 or 4 asparagus spears, woody ends discarded, the remainder sliced, tips kept whole

200g courgettes, thinly sliced

15g bunch of tarragon, leaves picked and roughly chopped

1 tbsp chopped chervil (see notes)

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

2 egg yolks

300ml double (heavy) or whipping cream

1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)

A good grind of black pepper

4 sheets of filo pastry (see notes)

30g melted butter

Sesame seeds (optional)


Heat the oven to 190C/170 fan/375F.

Prepare the vegetables and herbs, mix together in a bowl and then tumble them into a pie dish. Beat the egg yolks with the cream, salt and pepper and pour over the veg.

Unwrap the filo and remove one sheet, keeping the rest covered with a damp tea towel. Cut in in half to give two smaller rectangles and brush liberally with melted butter. Lightly crumple each piece and place on the pie, continuing with further sheets until it’s covered. Drizzle with any remaining butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.

Cook in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is browned and crackly and the vegetables tender-crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for around five minutes before serving. We ate ours with a few new potatoes from the garden, tossed with parsley and butter.

4 thoughts on “Summer Vegetable Pie

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